Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention & Intervention Program

Childhood lead poisoning is one of the most common and preventable health problems today.  Lead poisoned children are found in every county in Wisconsin.  Over 2,000 children are affected by lead each year in Wisconsin.  If your home was built before 1978, it most likely has lead paint.  If it was built before 1950, the paint contains more lead.

The long term effects of lead in a child can be severe and include:
  • Learning disabilities
  • Decreased growth
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impaired hearing
  • Brain damage
If caught early, these effects can be limited by reducing exposure to lead and medical treatment.

The only way to know if your child is lead poisoned is to have your child's blood tested.  At a minimum, age-appropriate blood lead tests are done at around 12 months and 24 months, or at least once between the ages of 3 to 5 years if the child has had no previous lead test. Primary care providers can assist with getting your child's blood tested.

A child is considered lead poisoned if they have a blood lead level (BLL) of 3.5 mcg/di or greater.  Families with lead poisoned children are eligible for services.  A Public Health Nurse may offer a home visit and provide the following services:
  • Provide education about lead poisoning and prevention
  • Conduct a visual inspection of the home for evidence of lead exposure risks
  • Provide case management for children/families identified as having elevated blood lead levels
  • Refer to the Environmental Health Specialist (certified lead risk inspector) in the Environmental Health Unit to conduct a lead risk assessment