Lead Prevention

Public Health Nurses provide education to the public about current and emerging health issues, identify, investigate, control and prevent health problems and environmental health hazards, promote community partnerships to identify and solve health problems, and link people to needed health services.

Lead awareness and your children

About 1 in 22 children in the United States have high levels of lead in their blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may have lead around your building without knowing it because you can’t see, taste, or smell lead.  You may have lead in the dust, paint, or soil in and around your home, or in your drinking water or food. Because it does not break down naturally, lead can remain a problem until it is removed.

How lead affects your child’s health

The long-term effects of lead in a child can be severe. They include learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing, and even brain damage. If caught early, these effects can be limited by reducing exposure to lead or by medical treatment. If you are pregnant, avoid exposing yourself to lead. Lead can pass through your body to your baby. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to help protect your family.

  • Get your child tested
  • Keep your home clean and free from dust and dirt
  • Reduce the risk from lead paint
  • Do not remove lead paint yourself
  • Don’t bring lead dust into your home
  • Get lead out of your drinking water
  • Eat right (children who get enough iron and calcium, absorb less lead)
  • Do not store food in high-lead pottery.


Your Child could be at Risk for Lead Poisoning

If you live in or visit a house built before 1950? This could include a day care center, preschool, the home of a babysitter or relative or a past residence of the family.

  • If you live in or visit a house built before 1978 with recent, ongoing or planned renovation or remodeling.
  • If your child has a brother or sister, housemate or playmate who has had lead poisoning.
  • If your child is enrolled in (or eligible for) Medicaid, Health Check or WIC.
  • If you live with an adult whose job or hobby involves exposure to lead.
  • If you live near an active lead smelter, battery recycling plant, or other industry likely to release lead.
  • If you live in or regularly visit a house with vinyl mini blinds (bought before 8/96) on the windows.