Childhood Lead Poisoning


Dear New Yorker:

The Federal Centers for Disease Control call childhood lead poisoning one of the most common and preventable pediatric health problems today.

Even at low levels, exposure to lead can cause serious and permanent damage to the health of young children.

Because lead poisoning is usually discovered only by testing and virtually all preschool age children are at some risk of lead poisoning, having your preschool age children tested is vital.

If you haven’t yet had your children screened for lead poisoning, We urge you to do it soon.

For more information about lead poisoning, or if you would like a copy of our office’s publication entitled, "Look Out for Lead! A Guide for Tenants with Preschool-Age Children," contact our Environmental Protection Bureau at:

Office of the New York Attorney General
The State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224

Lead poisoning is the No. 1 environmental health threat to children in the U.S. Nationwide, one in every 11 children between the ages of 1 and 5 has an elevated level of lead in his or her blood.

Children exposed to too much lead may have reading disabilities and problems with attention and motor coordination when they enter school. They may also exhibit behavioral problems.

In most cases, there are no obvious symptoms to indicate that the child is being exposed to dangerous levels of lead. The only way to be sure that your children don’t have lead poisoning is to get them tested.

New York State requires lead screening of all children under age 6. Children enrolling in licensed day care or preschool must have a certificate of lead screening.

Ask your doctor, or call your local health department to find out where to have the test done. Depending on your income, the tests may be free.