Long-term exposure increases risk
Arsenic and lead in soil do not pose an immediate health risk. However, long-term exposure increases the risk of certain health problems. We recommend you protect yourself and your family by practicing our simple healthy actions.
How can you be exposed?
Arsenic and lead are not absorbed through the skin.
You can be exposed to arsenic and lead by swallowing or inhaling small amounts of contaminated soil. This includes activities such as:
- Eating with dirty hands.
- Putting dirty fingers in your mouth.
Young children are more at risk than adults. They are more sensitive because their bodies are smaller and still growing. Also, they normally put their fingers and other things in their mouth, even if they are dirty.
What determines the type of health problems that may occur?
- The amount of contamination to which a person is exposed.
- The length of time a person is exposed.
- An individual's sensitivity to the harmful effects of the contamination.
Where can I test my children's blood lead levels?
Contact your pediatrician or health care provider. For more information:
More information about exposure to:
Snohomish Health District (Everett Smelter):
Northeast Tri-County Health District (Upper Columbia River):
Environmental Health Department
Public Health Seattle & King County (Tacoma Smelter Plume):
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (Tacoma Smelter Plume):