To prevent poisoning in children by reducing their risk of exposure to lead. To identify all potential exposures through universal testing of all one and two year olds.
Lead poisoning is caused by breathing or swallowing lead. Lead is a metal that was used in many common items before it was discovered how dangerous it was to people. Although laws in the United States now prevent lead from being used in many products, there are still lead hazards found in our environment. Exposure to lead is unsafe for anyone but especially for young children because of their risk to its harmful effects on the body. Lead can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. Lead poisoning is silent. A blood test is the only way to know if a child has been poisoned. It is important that all children be screened for lead poisoning beginning at 6-months of age.
A decision to test at 6-months is based on the parent's response to a series of questions the doctor will ask at well-child visits. The questions help determine if the child has had any possible contact with lead. All children will be tested at age 1 and again at 2 regardless of risk.
All families are encouraged to contact CCHD if they have concerns about lead exposure, including those without insurance. CCHD offers an income-based sliding scale for patients without insurance coverage.
The major source of lead exposure among U.S. children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in deteriorating buildings. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978. However, approximately 24 million housing units in the United States have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than 4 million of these dwellings are homes to one or more young children. Here is some useful information for lead paint safety.
Find information for the medical provider on lead poisoning prevention and management on the New York State Department of Health website.
Learn how the manage elevated blood lead levels among young children on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Discover information for the medical provider on management of Lead exposure in Pregnant and Lactating Women (PDF).
For recall alerts regarding products that contain lead contamination, please visit this link: US Consumer Product Safety Commission
Families with lead exposure or who have concerns about possible lead contamination in their homes should contact CCHD's Healthy Neighborhoods Program through their Contact Form.
Central New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center
Howard L. Weinberger, MD, Medical Director
University Hospital, Syracuse NY.