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Lead and Toxics Program

The Lead and Toxics Program builds on community leadership to

  • prevent childhood lead poisoning

  • identify and reduce exposures to environmental toxics

  • equitably improve health outcomes

Facts about lead

Lead is a useful and common metal used by humans for thousands of years. It is also a dangerous poison. Lead is especially dangerous for children when breathed in or eaten by accident. There is no safe level of lead. Though lead is often found in our environment, it has no known purpose in our bodies.

Children are especially at risk of lead exposure because of their small size and developing brains. Lead exposure can affect almost all systems in the body. Even low levels of lead in the blood can have negative impacts on a child’s intelligence, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. Removing all sources of lead exposure is important for keeping children safe.

Our work

Remarkable progress has been made in addressing lead exposure; however, further efforts are needed to prevent and eliminate lead poisoning. Public Health - Seattle & King County's Lead and Toxics Program has been raising awareness about childhood lead poisoning and assisting families of children with identified cases of lead exposure.