Until the 1970s lead was regularly used in paints, pigments and glazes. The use of “lead paint” has been largely discontinued, however, because of the dangers of lead poisoning. Older homes continue to be a significant source of lead exposure, because leaded paint deteriorates and flakes off. Unless the paint was permanently removed, you should suspect leaded paint in your home if it was built before 1978.
If lead enters the ground whether as industrial byproduct, flaking paint or by any other method, the lead will remain in the soil indefinitely.
Children, especially toddlers, get the specks of paint and paint dust on to their hands and into their mouths. Children put toys or pacifiers in their mouths that might be coated with lead dust. Children also get dirt contaminated with lead into their mouths. Ingesting (eating) lead paint is a serious health risk and can result in both short and long-term health problems.