Lead Air Pollution

Many activities can release lead into the air that can threaten the health of children. Know your neighborhood sources of potential lead air pollution.

  • Industrial 
    Lead can be released by many industries, including battery recyclers, pigment and glassmakers and lead weights and solder manufacturers. Without proper air filters, the lead emissions can escape and contaminate the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Shooting Ranges
    Most ammunition creates lead gases and dust that can be inhaled by the shooter or people nearby.
  • Construction
    Half of the housing in California was built before residential lead-based paint was banned in 1978. Scraping, sanding and demolishing older houses with lead paint releases lead particles into the air.
  • Aviation Gas
    Leaded aviation gas (AvGas) is the most widely used lead-containing fuel in the U.S. Inhaling fuel emissions from small planes can increase a child's blood lead level. There is no known safe level of childhood lead exposure.

How to keep your family lead safe

  • If you live near a potential source of lead air pollution, consider using an air purifier with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters can catch lead dust in the air.
  • If you live near a potential source of lead air pollution, cover bare dirt where children play. Cover the dirt with grass or other plants, bark, gravel or concrete.
  • Lead poisoning causes learning and behavioral problems. Ask your child's doctor for a blood lead test. 
  • If you work with lead (airport, shooting range, battery recycling, construction, etc.), shower and change clothes before going home.
  • Keep your home clean and dust free. Wet-wipe surfaces and mop floors weekly. Take shoes off before coming inside.

This information comes from CDPH's Lead Air Pollution Infographic PDF. For more information visit cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CLPPB. For more information about aviation gas and childhood lead poisoning, visit CDPH's Lead in Aviation Gas page, and see CDPH's English/Spanish Aviation Gas Flyer PDF.