Lead poisoning can effect a child for their entire life.
Blood Lead Level Testing
All children should be tested once they begin moving around by themselves or at age 1, whichever is first.
Do a Blood Lead Level test annually until age 6.
In addition to the Health Department conducting free Blood Lead Level tests until age 6, your health care provider can also conduct testing. Insist that they check your child’s levels annually.
In Iowa, a Blood Lead Level test must be conducted before the child may enter Kindergarten.
Testing living spaces
Test any living, sleeping, or playing space the child regularly comes into contact with. This could be a grandparent’s home, in-home daycare, or even sandbox. Here is a great infographic of places to test
There are several options for testing your home for lead hazards:
- Self-administered home lead test kit. LLFQC has free kits available. Please contact us for a free kit. Below is a video of how to use the kits. Please keep in mind that this lead test shows negative results accurately; however, a positive test result does not always mean there is lead. A positive test states that lead may be present.
How to use home lead test kit to check for lead in your home
- Professional inspection and risk assessment can be conducted by certified lead inspectors/risk assessors. A list of certified inspectors/risk assessors can be found on our Contractors section of this website.
- If a space you have tested is positive for lead hazards, remove and/or contain these hazards from the children immediately.
- Secondly, you will need to assess your options for removing these lead hazards. DO NOT try renovating/constructing/demolishing without proper lead removal training! Lead dust created during this process is extremely dangerous to all living creatures alike and there have been many cases of poisonings from do-it-yourselfers not taking the proper precautions. LLFQC can help you find professionals as well as advise on safe cleaning, removal, and containment for certain types of hazards.
- If you can not afford the cost of removal/renovation yourself, LLFQC may be able to help! You will need to submit an application for assistance in the Families section of this website.
Other sources of lead
- Water – Lead pipes and solder in older homes can be another source of lead poisoning. Click here for more information on lead from Iowa American Water
- Soil – lead can also be in the soil as a result of paint chips from windows or dirt from old buildings/demolished buildings. Soil samples can be taken by lead inspectors when they are inspecting the home. Though less common, children have been poisoned from playing in dirt and sandboxes.