Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Region 1: EPA New England

Healthy Beginnings: Lead Safe Families

Healthy Beginnings: Lead Safe Families
A Free ESL Curriculum on How to Prevent Lead Poisoning in the Home

Created by Education Development Center, Inc.
Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency

The American Academy of Pediatrics has identified lead poisoning as one of the most common toxicological hazards facing young children in the United States. Most homes built before 1978 have paint with lead, and children living in these homes are at risk for ingesting and/or absorbing lead from paint dust, tap water, and soil. Families for which English is a second language are vulnerable because so many of them live in older homes.

Yet, lead poisoning can be prevented--if tenants and homeowners know what danger signs to look for, and how to reduce or eliminate lead poisoning. That's why the Environmental Protection Agency commissioned the development of Health Beginnings: Lead Safe Families, an easy-to-use curriculum for adult ESL classes.

Free for ESL programs, the illustrated curriculum is available in beginner's and intermediate/advanced versions. Each unit poses a specific situation relating to lead hazards, and shows people how to protect their families. Vocabulary lists, workbook style questions, sentence completion exercises, and illustrated checklists are included in each of the following units:

  • Going to the Doctor
  • Identifying Symptoms of Illness
  • Making Water Safe to Drink
  • Preparing and Storing Food
  • Avoiding Dangers in the Dirt
  • Finding the Right Home
  • Identifying Household Hazards*
  • Making Your Home Safe*
  • Renovating Your Home*

*Only available in intermediate/advanced version.

This versatile, field-tested curriculum is accompanied by a teacher's guide that includes a glossary translated into eight languages: Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Khmer, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Health Beginnings units may be used sequentially, combined with other materials, or taught individually. Students can keep the units together in a notebook for home practice and share them with family members and neighbors.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

Descriptions of Units


Jump to main content.