Protecting Pennsylvania Communities from the Hazards of Lead

Eighteen Pennsylvania cities tested higher than Flint, MI for elevated blood lead levels and a growing chorus of evidence indicates a possible broader statewide lead problem. Lead is a highly poisonous metal and can affect almost every organ in the body and the nervous system. Clean Water Action is working to protect public health by reducing lead exposure through drinking water and in paint, dust, and soil, and by educating Pennsylvanians on how to identify and reduce lead in their communities.

Corroded pipe with lead service fittings. Credit: Mike Thomas / Creative Commons

Lead and Drinking Water

Lead is a highly poisonous metal and can affect almost every organ in the body and the nervous system. It is a naturally occurring element found, due to human activity, in all parts of our environment.

peeling paint / photo: flickr.com/arrrika

Lead Hazard Awareness Project: Lead in Paint

If your home was built before 1978, especially before 1960, it is very likely to have lead paint.  Undisturbed paint with a smooth surface is not considered dangerous, and most lead paint has been covered with many layers of non-leaded paint. 

Kensington neighborhood, Philadelphia / photo: flickr.com/pwbaker (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Address Lead in Philadelphia by Becoming a Green Ambassador

Residents interested in becoming Green Ambassadors can reach out for in-home “walk-throughs” where Clean Water Fund will assist them in identifying possible lead sources in their own homes so they may learn to do the same for their neighbors.

Child playing with toys / photo: istock

Lead Hazard Awareness Project: Lead in Consumer Products

Items that contain lead include candy, folk and traditional medications, ceramic dinnerware, children’s jewelry, clothing ornaments, children’s toys, key chains and other metallic or painted objects.