Take-home lead

If you are working in an environment where you are exposed to lead, you may have accidentally brought home lead dust on your clothes, shoes or vehicle. Children of people who work at these businesses can also have high blood lead levels. Lead poisoning may cause learning, behavior and health problems in young children. Adults can also get lead poisoning, but it affects children and pregnant women most seriously.

It is important that you and your family get your blood checked for lead if it has not been tested.

  • Blood lead testing is best done through your regular doctor. When scheduling a test, tell your doctor you were exposed to lead at work and that you or your child may have been exposed to lead dust.  
  • Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health staff are also available to talk with employees and their families about potential lead exposure. Free testing is also available for those without insurance or a primary clinic. Contact Dana Janowiak with Public Health at 651-266-1830 or [email protected] for more information.

Removing lead from your home 

  • Clean entryways, closets and vehicles – or any items that were in contact with work clothing – using a wet cloth and dispose of those items in the trash.
  • Keep small children away from work clothes and shoes, or where these items are stored.

Learn more about take-home lead

Other sources of lead in homes          

Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in products in and around homes. It can be found in many homes and buildings built before 1978. 

Read more about other common sources of lead in homes

Minnesota Department of Health take-home lead investigations

Federal Ammunition (Anoka)

The Minnesota Department of Health, Anoka County Public Health and St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health identified four children between 2021 and early 2023 with elevated blood lead levels due to exposure to lead dust that was brought home accidentally on the clothing and personal items of family members who work at the Federal Ammunition Plant in Anoka County.

MDH, St. Paul - Ramsey County Public Health and Anoka County Public Health are working with the families of identified cases. They also want to ensure all at-risk workers and family members are tested and that families have access to information on reducing lead exposure.

MDH is offering free blood lead testing.

More information and resources.

Water Gremlin

Current and former workers at Water Gremlin may have accidently brought home lead dust on their clothes, shoes and cars. A number of children of Water Gremlin employees have been found to have high blood lead levels. The majority of adults working at Water Gremlin who have been tested also have high blood levels.

More information and resources from the Minnesota Department of Health.