Lead in aviation gas

Health care provider performing finger prick on patient

Learn about lead, protect your health! 

Children who live near airports may be exposed to lead in air and soil from aviation gas used in piston-engine aircraft. Leaded aviation gas is just one potential source of lead exposure. 

If you are concerned, talk to a health care provider about blood lead testing. This is the best way to find out if lead from any source is putting your children at risk of lead-related health impacts.


Common sources of lead

Lead is found naturally throughout the environment. It also is found in dust and soil from past and present human activities. Other sources of lead include: 

  • Paint chips, dust and debris from lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. 
  • Water from plumbing materials in homes built before 1986. 
  • Some imported candies, spices, cosmetics, jewelry, traditional remedies, toys, and cookware. 
  • Jobs and hobbies that involve lead-based products.

Reducing exposure

Lead gets into our bodies when we breathe in or swallow something that has lead in it or on it. Children are at greater risk because they spend more time on the floor and ground. They also frequently put their hands or objects in their mouths. To reduce exposure: 

  • Wash hands and toys often with soap and water. 
  • Use doormats or remove shoes before going inside. 
  • Use damp cloths to wipe down windowsills and surfaces. 
    • To clean floors, use wet mops and a vacuum with a HEPA filter. 
  • Cover bare soil with grass or other ground covers. 
  • Garden in raised beds with new soil. 
  • Create clean places for kids to play, such as sandboxes with new sand. 
    • Cover when not in use.
  • Eat foods rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin C to help keep lead out of the body. 
  • Consider using HEPA air purifiers to reduce exposure to air pollutants inside the home. 
  • Check airnow.gov, and close windows when air quality is unhealthy.

Blood lead testing

A blood lead test shows how much lead is in the blood from all sources. These tests identify children who need follow-up care. 

  • Talk to a health care provider or community clinic about getting a blood lead test. 
  • Testing is free for children covered by Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), the Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP), and most private insurance. 
  • If your child’s test shows lead exposure, the health care provider or public health agency will recommend next steps. 
    • These may include follow-up testing, health education, an exposure history questionnaire, an in-home lead assessment, or medical treatment. 
  • Lead can pass to unborn and breastfeeding children. Adults who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to a health care provider about a blood lead test.


For information about lead and your health, contact ToxCall at 303-692-2606 or cdphe_toxcall@state.co.us.  

To request this web page information in a fact sheet, email cdphe_leadreports@state.co.us.