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What is lead and where is lead found?
Lead is a toxin that can be especially harmful to children under the age of 6. Lead can be found in many products but is most common in the paint of homes built before 1978. Lead dust from old paint is the most common way children get lead poisoning. Lead can also be found in certain toys, jewelry, cultural medicine, water, and soil.

Why should I be concerned with Lead?
Lead can have a very serious and permanent effect on a child's growth and development. Lead can cause:

  • Lower IQ
  • Hyperactivity & speech problems
  • Slowed growth & development
  • Language or speech delays
  • Hearing damage
  • Damage to the brain, kidney & nerves
  • Death

Should I have my child tested for lead poisoning?
Children with high lead levels may not look or act differently. If your child is under the age of six, talk to your healthcare provider about testing.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your child is at risk.

  • Do you live in an older home?
  • Does your child go to day care or spend time with a relative in an older home?
  • Does your child spend time with an adult whose job or hobby exposes them to lead?
    (Examples: construction, painting, metal cutting or recycling)
  • Does your child receive benefits from Medicaid, WIC or Head start? If so testing is required.
  • Have you moved to an older building since your child's last blood lead test?

If you answered "yes" or " I don't know" to any of these questions, insist on a blood lead test.

How can I learn more about lead poisoning?
The Healthy Homes & Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (HHLPPP) has easy to understand fact sheets to help parents and caregivers become educated. Contact the HHLPPP at 1-800-897-LEAD (5323) for additional information.

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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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