Public Health recognizes Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Published Oct. 21, 2022

Placer County Public Health is joining partners across the state in recognizing Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week from Oct. 23-29. A week-long information campaign will include fact sheets, web-based presentations and educational materials about childhood lead poisoning.

California is in the process of replacing water lines that contain lead, which can also create lead hazards in drinking water.  Although no lead service lines have been identified in Placer County, other measures to reduce any potential exposure to lead in tap water remain important.  For example, pre-2010 plumbing fixtures and some water crocks may contain lead.  

"The purpose of this campaign is to remind parents that lead poisoning can be detrimental to young children’s health and development. It's important for parents to ask their child’s doctor about blood lead testing,” said Dr. Rob Oldham, the county’s interim health officer.

Many at-risk children have not been tested for lead. Children who receive services from Medi-Cal or Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) are eligible for free testing. Private health insurance plans also usually pay for the test.

Lead poisoning can seriously affect a child’s brain and nervous system. It can cause learning and behavioral problems. A blood lead test is the only way to identify lead poisoning in children.

In California, beyond drinking water, children can also be exposed to lead by ingesting lead-contaminated dust, paint chips from deteriorating lead-based paint in pre-1978 housing and lead-contaminated soil. Other sources of lead poisoning include lead dust brought home on parents' work clothes, certain imported ceramic pottery, painted objects, traditional home remedies, traditional cosmetics, and imported spices, candies and other food products. Additionally, activities that involve lead products such as soldering, making stained glass and handling bullets or fishing sinkers can put children at risk. Learn more by reading these FAQs.

All parents and caregivers of young children are invited to participate in webinars and social media posts by visiting the California Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week website. To request educational materials or ask questions, call 530-886-3646.