Lead Poisoning

What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning affects a child’s brain, nervous system, and red blood cells as they grow and develop. It can cause permanent damage such as learning disabilities, speech and language problems, poor hearing, hyperactivity, and poor school performance. The good news is that there are things you can do to keep your child safe from lead.​

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child at window sill

What Causes Lead Poisoning?


​There are many places in a home that could put babies and young children in danger of lead poisoning. Lead paint was used in many homes built before 1978. The older the home the more likely, that, windows, cupboards, doors, porches, and outdoor surfaces can contain lead paint.


​ Children are most often poisoned by lead dust and lead paint in older homes. Lead dust can come from disturbing areas with lead paint, and opening and closing windows, and through normal wear and tear of painted areas. Lead dust falls to the floor and gets on children’s hands and toys. It enters their bodies when they put their hands or toys into their mouths. ​ ​​

​To download the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) booklet, "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home."

Is Your Child at Risk for Lead Poisoning?
Download  the survey in pdf format Answer the following questions to find out! ​

​• Is anyone living in the home pregnant or are there children under the age of six?.................................................................................................No Yes ​
​ • Does your child live in or regularly visit a house built before 1978 with peeling or chipping paint?...............................................................................No Yes ​
​ • Does your child live in or regularly visit an older house with recent, ongoing, or planned remodeling?.....................................................................No Yes ​
​• Does your child have a brother, sister, housemate, or playmate with lead poisoning?.....................................................................................No Yes ​
​• Does your child live with an adult whose work or hobby exposes them to lead, such as an automotive repair worker, or plumber?........................No Yes ​
​• Does your child often play in the dirt in or around your home, or that of a relative or friend?............................................................................................No Yes ​
​• Does your child chew on things such as old toys, cribs, window ledges, paint chips, or plaster?...........................................................................No Yes
​​If you answered YES to any of these questions, your child may be at risk for lead poisoning. The only way to know for sure if your child has lead poisoning is to have the child tested. Check with your doctor for a lead screening if you feel your child is at risk.

Download the MDHHS Healthy Home Lead Safe Application for Homeowners and Renter.  Call (517) 768-2131 for more information.