Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal that has been used in many products. It can be found throughout the environment, including air, soil, and water. Lead dust from lead-based paint is the most common source of lead exposure for California children. Other sources of lead in and around homes may include:

    Aviation gasoline that powers most piston-engine (propeller) aircraft is the last remaining transportation fuel that contains lead. People who work at or reside in close proximity to a airport used by smaller propeller planes may be at risk of exposure from lead emissions from aviation gasoline. Learn more about the County’s efforts to study and prevent exposures from leaded aviation gasoline at the links below.

    Media Release: Study Commissioned by County of Santa Clara Finds Increased Lead Levels in Children Living Near Reid-Hillview Airport

    Media Release: County of Santa Clara Files Petition Urging EPA To Initiate Nationwide Ban of Leaded Aviation Gasoline

    Full Report: Leaded Aviation Gasoline Exposure Risk at Reid-Hillview Airport in Santa Clara County, California

    Resource: County Airports

    Standard ammunition contains lead, which is released when a gun fires. Lead poisoning continues to be a significant problem for workers at shooting ranges. Customers and volunteers can also be exposed when they visit a shooting range. Shooting range operators must ensure that their ranges are free from lead hazards. Learn how to prevent lead hazards and exposures at shooting ranges at the links below:

    California Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: Lead Hazards at Shooting Ranges

    COMING SOON: Lead Safe Homes inspections resource for in-home daycares

    Young children who spend significant time in childcare settings or attend K-12 schools may be at risk of lead exposure from drinking water. Lead in drinking water is a concern because it is a daily source of water for young children  and when schools or childcare facilities are closed over the weekends, holidays, or extended breaks, lead from pipes and other fixtures can leach into the water. The prolonged shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic raise similar concerns.   

    Effective January 1, 2018, California Assembly Bill (AB) 746 required community water systems to test lead levels, by July 1, 2019, in drinking water at all California public, K-12 school sites that were constructed before January 1, 2010. More information about and results from school drinking water testing can be found on the State Water Resources Control Board website.

    In September 2018, the California State Legislature expanded drinking water testing requirements to licensed childcare centers through the passage of AB 2370. Under this law, all licensed childcare centers constructed before January 1, 2010 are required to test their drinking water for lead contamination between January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2023, and then every 5 years after the date of the first test. More information on testing requirements for licensed childcare centers can be found on the California Department of Social Services website.  Note that this testing requirement does not apply to family home daycares.

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