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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
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Page updated Nov 4, 2015 4:46 PM

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Hazardous Substances

Learn more about harmful substances that can make you and your love ones ill. Many of these substances can be found in the air and building materials of your home.


For help quitting, visit the Virginia Department of Health, Quit Now Virginia at

Other smoking programs or information:


Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, taste, or smell. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is found in all states and can only be found by testing your home. Radon levels vary from house to house, so do not rely on what your neighbor's test results.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of carbon in fuels. When CO enters the bloodstream, it reduces the delivery of oxygen to the body's organs and tissues. Exposure to elevated CO levels can cause impairment of visual perception, manual dexterity, learning ability and performance of complex tasks. Visit to learn more about CO.


Lead is a soft, dense metal used in the production of many items. Lead is poisonous and can cause severe damage to the brain, nervous system and liver. These effects are devastating to children. In 1978, lead was banned from use in paint, but it can still be found in some older buildings, toys, etc. If you live in Alexandria and your child has had two blood tests with elevated lead levels, call 703.746.4940. 


Mold & Moisture