Public Health recognizes Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Published Oct. 19, 2023

Placer County Public Health is joining partners across the state in recognizing Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week from Oct. 22-28. The statewide campaign, which this year is focused around lead air pollution, will include fact sheets, web-based presentations and educational materials about childhood lead poisoning.

"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.

Lead air pollution can occur around airports, shooting ranges, and industrial areas. Lead can be breathed in or ingested and cause health problems. The state’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (CLPPB) will kick off the awareness week with a Monday webinar on lead air pollution.

In California, 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. 

Everyone is encouraged to get involved with Lead Week by participating in events and sharing these resources about preventing childhood lead poisoning. To learn more about lead poisoning and how to prevent lead exposure, visit the CLPPB’s Frequently Asked Questions and Lead Education Materials.

To request educational materials or ask questions, call 800-829-7199.