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Lead Safety

Lead can damage nearly every system in the human body, and has harmful effects on both adults and children.

Lead poisoning is the greatest environmental threat to children in the United States.

Q. When should I test my child for lead poisoning?

A. These requirements apply to all children in Ohio under the age of six years. There is no “safe” level of lead in the blood – any confirmed level is an indication that the child has been exposed.
Children should be tested at age 1 and 2 years, or up to 6 years if no previous test has been done, based on the following criteria:

  • If the child is on Medicaid, he/she must be tested according to Ohio and Medicaid Rules.
  • If the child resides in a high-risk zip code, he/she must be tested according to Ohio law.
  • If the parent(s) responds “yes” or the answer is unknown to one or more of the questions below, the child must be tested:
    • Does the child live in or regularly visit a house built before 1950 (includes day care centers, preschools, home of babysitter, relative, etc.)?
    • Does the child live in or regularly visit a house with peeling, dusting, or deteriorated paint?
    • Does the child live in or visit a house built before 1978 with recent and/or current plans for renovation?
    • Does the child have a sibling or playmate that has been lead poisoned?
    • Does the child come in frequent contact with an adult who has a hobby/works with lead (such as construction, welding, painting, etc)

In addition to the Ohio lead testing requirements found above, these questions may help determine whether your child is at increased risk for lead poisoning:

Home Risk Factors

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions please consider having your home tested for lead:

Are there visible paint chips near the house (pre-1978), fences, garages, or play structures?

Is your home located near a lead-producing industry (battery plant, smelter, radiator repair shop, etc.)?

Is your home located near buildings or structures that are being renovated, repainted, or demolished?

Water Risk Factors

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions please consider having your water tested for lead:

Does your home use well water that has not previously been tested for lead?

Do you use water from the tap as soon as it is turned on (letting the water run will clear the pipes from water most likely to contain lead)?

Is tap water used to prepare infant formula, powdered milk, juices, or foods?

Does your home have pipes that contain lead solder?

Child Behavior Risk Factors

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions please consider having your child tested for lead:

Does your child put painted objects or surfaces (toys, painted cribs, window sills, furniture edges, railings, door moldings, or broom handles) into his/her mouth?

Does your child play in soil or put soil in his/her mouth?

Does your child put soft metal objects (toys, jewelry, fishing sinkers, etc.) in his/her mouth?

Does your child put printed material (newspapers, magazines) in his/her mouth?

Other Household Risk Factors

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions please consider having your child tested for lead:

Does your family use products from other countries such as herbal medicines, health remedies and cosmetics?

Examples include Azogue, Alkohl, Azarcon, Bali goli, Ghasard, Greta, and Pay-loo-ah.

Does your family use any food containers that are made from metal; pewter; homemade or imported ceramics; or leaded crystal?

Is there a pet that could track dirt or dust in from the outside?

Does your child play with or have access to any areas where the following materials are kept?

  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Coloring pigments
  • Crayons
  • Drapery weights
  • Dyes
  • Electronics
  • Epoxy resins
  • Fishing sinkers
  • Fungicides
  • Gasoline
  • Gear oil
  • Lacquers
  • Markers
  • Mini-Blinds
  • Paints
  • Pesticides
  • Pipe sealants
  • Pool cue chalk
  • Putty
  • Shellacs
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Solder
  • Tire weights
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