Lead Management

Lead Poisoning Prevention and Case Management

The Mercer County Health District works with the Ohio
Department of Health and the Center of Disease Control in an effort to prevent and manage Childhood Lead Poisoning cases in Ohio and Mercer County.  The Ohio Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OCLPPP) receives all blood lead laboratory reports on Ohio resident children and uses these data to contribute to the national database on lead poisoning and to promote the CDC national guidelines.

There is no safe level of Lead in a child’s blood. Ohio Department of Health High Risk Zip Codes Requiring Blood Lead Testing

Lead Testing (Fingerstick)

Basic Lead Test – $25.00  + Office Visit Fee – $15.00/per person = $40.00 Total

Hemoglobin Test – $15.00 + Office Visit Fee – $15.00/per person = $30.00 Total

Combined Lead & Hemoglobin Test – $40.00 + Office Visit Fee – $15.00/per person = $55.00 Total

* Medicaid Accepted
Have your Healthcare Provider test your child’s blood lead level.

Frequently asked Questions about Lead Poisoning

1. What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning, for the most part, is invisible. Most lead-poisoned children have no noticeable symptoms at first. Some cases go undiagnosed and untreated.

2. What are the health effects of lead poisoning?
Lead replaces iron and calcium in the body affecting many different internal systems, especially the central nervous system. It is most harmful to children under the age of 6, because lead is most easily absorbed into growing bodies and can create permanent problems in development. At lower exposure levels, lead poisoning in young children is associated with decreased intelligence, delayed growth, impaired hearing, attention deficit disorders and hyperactivity in later years. At higher levels of exposure, lead poisoning can cause mental retardation, convulsions, coma and death.

3. Is lead dangerous to a developing fetus?

Yes. Lead can be found in the blood and bones of pregnant women who have been exposed to lead hazards. Lead can cross the placental barrier and affect the fetus. Immediate effects can include miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight. Lead can also be passed to a newborn infant through breast feeding.

4. Should my child be tested for lead?

Yes. In high-risk Zip codes and for Medicaid-eligible children, lead testing is mandatory at ages 1 and 2. But lead can come from a variety of sources and all children should be tested at least once to ensure there is no lead hazard silently affecting a child.

5. What is considered a safe level of lead in a child’s blood?
Lead is not a natural part of the environment and has no nutritional value. There is no safe level of lead in a child’s blood. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers all child blood lead levels above 10 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dl) to be elevated and a concern. Lead levels as low as 5 μg/dl have been shown to have negative effects on cognitive development.

6. What are the sources of lead poisoning?

Lead was used in house paint until 1978. Any house built before that year may have layers of lead paint present. When chips of this paint are exposed they may be ingested, or ground into dust which may be ingested or inhaled. This happens most frequently through a child’s hand-to-mouth activities. Lead can also be present in soil, water and certain imported items. Recently recalled items with lead content include inexpensive jewelry items, candy, colored chalk and various toy parts.

FOR QUESTIONS CONTACT MERCER COUNTY HEALTH DISTRICT:  419-586-3251 X 1279
Online resources for additional information on childhood lead poisoning:

Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
http://www.odh.ohio.gov
1-877-LEAD SAFE

Ohio Lead Regional Resource Centers
Northeast 866-887-6779 (ext. 138)
Northwest 800-698-3691
Southeast 866-681-3962
Southwest 800-957-3810

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead

American Academy of Pediatrics
http://aappolicy.aappublications.org
(search keyword = lead poisoning)

Ohio Department of Job & Family Services
http://jfs.ohio.gov/OHP/bhpp/lpplpt/providerlead.stm
http:// www.jfs.ohio.gov

National Center for Healthy Housing
http://www.centerforhealthyhousing.org/

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
http://www.hud.gov/lead

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
http://www.epa.gov/oppt/lead/index.html