Lead Poisoning Prevention

No safe blood lead level has been identified for children. Even low levels of lead in the blood can have lifelong health impacts.

on October 3, 2023

What is Lead Poisoning?

Lead poisoning or lead toxicity refers to exposures to lead that result in illness and require immediate medical attention. It is used to describe cases when there are severe health effects related to high blood lead levels.

Lead can be found inside and outside the home. The most common sources of lead in drinking water are lead pipes, faucets, and fixtures.  Lead may also be brought into the home on work clothes, shoes, hair, and pets. About half of the homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips, and dust can pose serious health risks.

Lead is toxic, especially in young children. When lead is breathed in or swallowed, it can result in damage to the brain and nervous system, learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and hearing and speech problems. Children younger than 6 years of age are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure. This is because their bodies are still developing and growing rapidly.

Children can be exposed by swallowing or breathing in lead dust created by old paint that has cracked or chipped, eating paint chips, or chewing on surfaces coated with lead dust and/or lead-based paint, such as window sills.

What Can You Do About It?

Lead poisoning is preventable! The key is getting your children and home tested.

A blood test is the best way to find out if a child has lead poisoning. Talk to your child’s health care provider about getting a blood lead test if your child may have been exposed to lead. Children’s blood lead levels tend to increase from 6 to 12 months of age and tend to peak at 18 to 24 months of age.

Blood lead tests are required for:

Children ages 12 and 24 months who receive Medicaid.

Children between ages 24 and 72 months who receive Medicaid with no record of a previous blood lead test.

Blood lead tests are recommended for:

Children ages 12 and 24 months living in areas that are at higher-risk or who belong to populations that are higher-risk.

Children or other family members who have been exposed to lead.

Children who should be tested under your state or local health testing plan.

Get your home tested.

Minimize your risk of lead exposure by hiring a certified professional to test your home for lead if it was built before 1978. Find a lead-safe certified contractor for renovation, repair, and painting jobs at www.epa.gov/lead/findacontractor.

If you rent, ask your landlord to share previous test results or have your home or apartment tested for the presence of lead.

To find out for certain if you have lead in your drinking water, have your water tested. Contact your local health department or water company to find out about testing your water or visit epa.gov/safewater for EPA’s lead in drinking water information.


This traditional eye makeup is brought to the U.S. from many countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It is put on the eyes and skin of women, men, babies, and young children. Some of these products have high levels of lead, which may be bad for your health.


Together, we can prevent lead exposure. Schedule your child’s blood lead test with CCI Health Services.