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Breaking News: Health Advisory for Contra Costa County

Last updated: November 16, 2018, 9:52 am

Poor air quality in Contra Costa is expected to continue through the weekend due to the Camp Fire in Butte County. Stay indoors when possible and keep doors and windows closed. Avoid prolonged outdoor activity. Masks are not a substitute for staying indoors. Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, persistent coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, heart palpitations, nausea, fatigue or light-headedness. Visit for air quality information. Visit for current air quality conditions in your zip code. Visit for smoke-related health information.

Press Release

Your Household Items May be Contaminated With Lead

September 14, 2004

Archived. This is an older press release from 2004 and may not contain the latest information. Please view our current press releases for 2018 items.

East Bay county health officials are alerting residents of lead contamination dangers from various household items. Lead poisoning is especially dangerous for young children and can cause problems with learning and behavior.

Contra Costa Health Services' Lead Poisoning Prevention Project is warning families that items they may have purchased recently could be contaminated with lead. The contaminated items include metal toy jewelry sold in vending machines, candies and spicy powders imported from Mexico, red chairs from children's furniture sets, ceramic cocktail plates and water crocks. (Images available online at

"Lead poisoning can cause health problems, especially for children. Right now, we'd like parents to be especially aware of the recalled vending machine jewelry. If your children still have any of this jewelry, get rid of it," said Joanne Genet, Manager of Contra Costa Health Services' Lead Poisoning Prevention Project.

She said that lead has also been found in some Mexican candies and snacks popular with both adults and children. Spicy powders made by the Lucas company have recently been withdrawn from the market, but still appear to be on store shelves throughout the county.

"Not all Mexican candies and snacks have lead, but some have been found with hazardous amounts. Unfortunately, there's usually no way to know which are risky. It would be safest to avoid eating these products until the manufacturers can prove they are safe and lead-free," said Genet.

She said lead poisoning usually occurs without symptoms and often goes unrecognized.

"The only way to know if a child has been poisoned by lead is to have him tested by a doctor or health care provider," said Genet.

More information about lead poisoning prevention, images of recalled items and lead poisoning health alerts are available online at For more information about testing and lead poisoning call 1-866-FIX-LEAD.

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Press Contact
  • Joanne Genet
  • 925-313-6763