Protect Your Children...
Testing for lead.
“At one and two, testing for lead
is what you
It's the law in New York State!
Your child's doctor must test for lead during the Well Child
Ask for a lead test when your child is one year old and again
at two years old.
the dangers of lead?
Lead poisoning is a serious health problem for children.
Lead poisoning damages growing cells and tissues and can cause
any of the following problems in children:
- a lower IQ
- hearing loss
- kidney damage
- growth problems
- behavior problems
If your child has lead in his or her blood, new and growing cells and tissues continue to be damaged. The more lead in your child's blood, the more damage it causes.
children get lead poisoning?
For many years most house paints were made with lead in them.
For that reason the paint in a lot of older homes contains lead.
In an older house, your child can easily be exposed to the lead
in old paint in these ways:
- paint chips that break off walls.
- dust from cracking paint or plaster that settles on toys,
food or bedding.
- hot water from old lead pipes.
A new coat of paint may cover up the danger. But chipping and crumbling plaster walls can expose the old lead paint and the danger returns.
to protect children from lead poisoning.
Keep your child away from sources of lead.
- find out if there is a dangerous amount of lead in your
house or apartment.
- keep children away from peeling paint and broken plaster.
- wash your child's hands and face often to remove any
lead dust or dirt.
- wash your child's toys often, especially
Keep your home or apartment free of lead.
- have the paint and plaster on your walls tested for
lead before you renovate or remodel.
Keep your community safe from lead poisoning.
- work to keep lead dust out of the environment. If you
see uncontrolled grinding or sanding of
exterior paint in your residential area, find out if the
surfaces have been tested for lead. Or notify the Tompkins
County Health Department at 274-6688.
Remodeling Safety: Know before you work on your home.
Whether you do it yourself or hire it out, before you remodel
or renovate your older (pre-1979) home, learn the latest safe
- Have painted surfaces tested before disturbing them. Call
Environmental Health (EH) at 274-6688 about sampling and
- Interpret results correctly. Make sure
you understand how lead content is described, what levels
are acceptable, and who may be affected. Ask EH staff to
- Proceed responsibly. Tompkins County Sanitary Code considers lead paint dust
an environmental hazard. Uncontrolled discharge of lead
paint dust is a violation of the code and could result in
substantial daily fines. The US-EPA requires contractors to be certified for lead paint removal.
For more complete info about lead paint removal, click here.
Who to call and how to find
out more about lead.
To find out more about having your child tested for lead:
- Call Community Health Services at the Health Department,
To find out more about having your home or apartment tested for lead:
- Call the Environmental Health Division of the Health Department,
Other web sites with information about lead: