Blood Lead Screening and Prevention of Childhood Lead Poisoning
Childhood lead poisoning has significant effects on the health of children and on community health. Lead has adverse effects on nearly all organ systems in the body. It is especially harmful to the developing brains and nervous systems of children under the age of six years.Many of Iowa's pre-1950 homes contain lead-based paint. Young children who live in pre-1950 homes become lead-poisoned when they put paint chips or exterior soil in their mouths or when they get house dust and soil on their hands and put their hands in their mouths. Although lead poisoning can cause serious health problems--including death--most lead-poisoned children demonstrate no visible symptoms. This makes it much more important to have an effective program to prevent childhood lead poisoning.
For more information about Lead Poisoning Prevention, please contact us or call 1-800-972-2026.
Mandatory Blood Lead Testing Program
The Iowa Department of Public Health has recommended since 1992 that all children be tested for lead poisoning. House File 158 was passed by the 2007 legislature and was amended by the 2008 legislature. It became effective July 1, 2008, and requires all children entering kindergarten to have at least one lead test.
The goal of this legislation is to protect Iowan children under the age of 6 years from lead adverse effects in their developing brains and nervous systems and to reduce the number of children with developmental deficits and learning disorders related to lead exposure. The legislation has proven effective through an increase in the number of children tested, a decrease in the number of children with elevated blood leads and the routine child lead testing by physicians.
The following links provide more information concerning lead poisoning.
- Iowa Department of Public Health - Lead Poisoning Prevention
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) - Lead Poisoning Prevention
- Blood Lead Testing Requirements Information - Questions and Answers for parents
- Blood Lead Testing Requirements Information - Spanish - Questions and Answers for parents-Spanish
- For Health Care Providers
- Additional Resources