Are you concerned your child may have been exposed to lead? Every county health department in the Coastal Health District can provide a lead screening through a simple blood test. Call the health department in your county for information about cost and to make an appointment, if necessary.
Adults and children can get lead into their bodies by breathing in the lead dust (especially during activities such as renovations, repairs or painting) or by swallowing lead dust that settles in food, food preparation surfaces, floors, window sills, and other places, or eating paint chips or soil that contain lead.
Lead can be found inside and outside the home, including in the water that travels through lead pipes or in the soil around the house. However, the most common source of exposure is from lead-based paint, which was used in many homes built before 1978.
Children are especially vulnerable to the poisoning effects of lead dust that comes from damaged, chipped, or otherwise deteriorated lead-based paint.
Although the presence of lead-based paint in the home can be a concern, a child can be exposed to lead through other means including toys, jewelry, fishing lures, glazed pottery, and other products.