Lead is a toxic metal found in air, soil, dust, and drinking water. It is highly damaging when absorbed into the human body. Children younger than six are especially vulnerable to lead exposure, which causes irreversible neurological and cognitive damage, including decreased IQ and behavioral disorders, even at very low levels. Although most major sources of lead released into the environment have been banned, old lead-based paint remains present in tens of millions of homes across the country. Lead can also be present in certain imported consumer goods, toys, foods, ceramics, drinking water, and in soil. Lead exposures can also result from lead-based aviation gasoline and industrial sources. Follow the links above to learn what the County of Santa Clara is doing to protect residents from lead exposure and what you can do to minimize risks.