Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is toxic to humans if it enters the body. Lead can get into our bodies when we breathe, swallow or suck something that has lead in it or on it. It is then stored in our bones, blood and tissues.


 Infants and young children under 3 years old are typically at higher risk to exposure and health effects because:

·They spend the majority of their time on the floor or ground

· They are teething and tend to put everything in their mouths

· They are undergoing rapid growth and brain development

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No amount of lead in the body is considered safe. Lead poisoning usually happens when a child is around small amounts of lead for a long time, but lead poisoning can happen quickly if something with lead is swallowed, such as a toy or paint chip. Lead can affect the whole body and can harm young children and babies even before they are born.



Extremely high blood lead levels can cause severe brain damage and/or death. Lower blood lead levels can cause developmental delays, speech, hearing, behavior and learning difficulties, digestive problems and slowed growth. Lead poisoning can be hard to detect as signs and symptoms often do not appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.


Take these steps to make your home lead-safe:

1.       Get the Facts

2.       Get Your Child Tested

  • A simple blood test can detect lead. Children’s blood lead levels tend to increase from 6 to 12 months of age, and tend to peak at age 18 to 24 months of age.

  • Blood lead tests are usually recommended for children at ages 12 and 24 months (and required at these ages for children who receive Medicaid). Children or other family members who have been exposed to high levels of lead should be tested. Ask your healthcare provider to explain the blood lead test results.

  • If yes to any of the questions in the Childhood Lead Poisoning Risk Questionnaire link, then talk to your doctor about a blood lead test.  EnglishSpanish

3.       Get Your Home Tested