Lead Poisoning Prevention

The Problem of Lead Poisoning in NY State and Ontario County

Child and Lead PaintLead poisoning is still a problem for children across New York State, including Ontario County. Many homes were constructed and painted prior to 1978 when lead based paints were removed from the market.

The ingestion of lead contaminated dust, paint, and soil is the primary cause of childhood lead poisoning. Lead can also be found in lead glazed or painted pottery, ammunition, fishing sinkers, stained glass solder, batteries, and imported foods, candy, clothing and toys.

Children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years of age are at greatest risk of exposure to lead because they are apt to put fingers, hands, and toys in their mouths. Small children are eye level with window sills where lead paint could be lurking. They are at risk for poisoning if they chew on these areas or inhale lead-tainted dust created when windows are opened and closed. Children whose families are in the process of remodeling homes built or painted prior to 1978, are also at increased risk for exposure to lead.

What can you do to protect your child from becoming lead poisoned? Washing Child's Hands

  • Wash your child’s hands often before nap time, meals, and bedtime. 
  • Wet dust and wet mop your home to keep dust tainted with lead from being spread throughout your home.      
  • Take appropriate precautions when starting remodeling projects. 
  • Feed your children four to six small meals a day instead of 3 large meals.
  • Feed your children a lead-healthy diet, including whole wheat breads, eggs, meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, and dark green vegetables. These types of foods help protect children’s bodies from becoming lead poisoned.

Lead poisoning has no initial symptoms but can lead to decreased IQ, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and anemia.  The only way to find out if your child is lead poisoned is to have his blood tested for lead. This should be done at the ages of one and two years.   

Talk to your doctor about having your child tested for lead poisoning.  If you do not have insurance you can have your child tested for lead at Ontario County Public Health. Call 1 (800) 299-2995 to arrange an appointment.

If you are worried about exposure to lead in your home, check out the Lead Poisoning Home Checklist. If you answer yes to any of the questions found there, contact Ontario County Public Health at 1(800)299-2995.
Lead Poisoning ThreatAre You Pregnant

Check Out These Great Resources!

Printable Pamphlets from NY State Department of Health

The Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center

The Western NY Lead Poisoning Resource Center serves nine counties in the Finger Lakes Region.

The Rochester office provides: 

  • Education and support to medical providers and local health departments.
  • Consultation with medical providers on the medical management of children and pregnant women with lead poisoning.
  • Consultation with local health department staff on case coordination of children and pregnant women with lead poisoning.
  • Provision of lead poisoning prevention information and materials to medical providers and the public.

Additional Links

Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center
Information for Parents and Care Givers
New York State Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)