Density Elevated Blood Lead Levels By School District 1995 To 2014

Current static map

Childhood blood lead levels 10 mcg per dL or higher

Childhood Lead Poisoning

What is lead poisoning?

It is a build-up of lead in the body that can occur over a period of months or years. Children under the age 6 are most vulnerable to lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can occur when lead is swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed in any form.

What are the sources of lead?

  • Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in houses built before 1978
  • Older toys painted with lead-based paint
  • Contaminated air, water, and soil
  • Old water pipes
  • Workplaces (plumbing, construction, car or radiator repair, waste incineration, welding, etc.)

Who is at risk?

  • Children in poverty
  • Members of racial-ethnic minority groups
  • Immigrants
  • Children living in houses built before 1978
  • Children whose parents are exposed to lead at work

How is a child’s lead level tested?

A blood sample is taken by either by a finger or heel prick or from a vein.

What do the results mean?

  • 0-4 μg/dL there is very little lead in your child’s blood
  • 5-9 μg/dL your child has a little more lead than most children
  • 10-14 μg/dL your child’s lead level is high; result of 10 or higher requires action
  • 15-44 μg/dL your child’s lead level is very high; your doctor should act quickly
  • ≥ 45 μg/dL your child needs medical treatment right away

What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy

What are the long-term complications of elevated blood lead levels?

  • Behavior or attention problems
  • Lower IQ
  • Failure at school
  • Hearing problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Delayed growth

How can a childhood lead poisoning be prevented?

  • In older homes, have paint and dust tested for lead.
  • Ensure your child does not have access to peeling paint or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint.
  • Wet-mop floors and wet-wipe window sills of older homes regularly.
  • Wash children’s hand and toys regularly.
  • Prevent children from playing in bare soil; provide them with sandboxes if possible.
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Sources and Resources

CDC - At-Risk Populations

CDC - Lead

CDC - Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment Recommendations for Refugee Children

Environmental Protection Agency - Lead

Mayo Clinic - Lead Poisoning

National Environmental Public Health Tracking - Childhood Lead Poisoning

ODH - Lead Poisoning Prevention - Children

World Health Organization - Lead poisoning and health