Nutrition and Lead Poisoning Prevention
Nutrition can play a pivotal role in preventing childhood lead poisoning. It is important to help minimize the amount of lead that is absorbed and stored in the bones. Good nutrition helps accomplish this goal. A child's body requires certain minerals, especially calcium and iron. When these minerals are deficient in the body, lead absorption is increased. Children whose diet is deficient in these minerals retain more of the lead than they would have otherwise.
An empty stomach absorbs more lead. By feeding your child healthy meals and snacks each day, it will help his or her body to absorb less lead.
Foods Rich in Iron
Children need to have plenty of iron in their system. To the body, iron and lead look very similar. When there is more iron than lead, the body will absorb the iron. The following foods are rich in iron:
Foods Rich in Calcium
Foods that are high in calcium can also help the body absorb less lead. The following foods are rich in calcium:
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C will help the body absorb more iron and calcium. The following foods are rich in Vitamin C:
Foods to Avoid
Foods stored in lead-soldered cans, glazed ceramic dishes or crystal.
Foods that could have picked up lead dust, such as food that has fallen on the floor.
Vegetables grown in lead-contaminated soil.
Food stored in printed plastic bread bags (the inks used for the wrapper may contain lead).
Candy that can contain lead, such as imported Mexican candy made with tamarind or chili power. Learn more about Lead in Candy
For recipes and more information about nutrition and healthy diets to help prevent lead poisoning, download the EPA’s brochureFight Lead Poisoning with a Healthy Diet