I’m worried because we recently moved into an older home that may have some lead paint and I just found out that I’m pregnant. Should I be concerned about exposing my baby to lead? – Susan If your home was built before 1978, it could have lead-based paint. A pregnant woman's exposure to high lead levels can be hazardous to the baby, because lead in a mother's blood can easily cross the placenta to the fetus. Lead poisoning can affect almost every system in the body. Even low levels of lead in a child's blood can cause subtle problems with behavior and learning. Lead in paint can cause problems when it is chipping, peeling, or is removed. Even opening a window that previously had lead paint on it can release lead dust that can be inhaled or settle on hands and food. Some homes (old and new) may also have lead pipes or copper piping with lead solder that can allow lead to enter the tap water. If you have an older home or are concerned about lead exposure, get a professional to test your water, the dust in your home, the soil outside, and the paint around your home for lead. Back to Articles Related Articles Pregnancy & Newborn Center Advice and information for expectant and new parents. Read More Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs Moms-to-be have a lot of questions about what's safe during pregnancy. Keep your sanity by knowing what you can - and can't - do before your baby arrives. Read More Lead Poisoning Long-term exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, particularly in young kids, so it's important to find out whether your child might be at risk for lead exposure. Read More Pica Some young kids have the eating disorder pica, which is characterized by cravings to eat nonfood items. Read More Blood Test: Lead In babies and young kids whose brains are still developing, even a small amount of lead can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. A lead test can determine the amount of lead in the blood. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.