Lead Poisoning Prevention - Children

Lead can damage nearly every system in the human body, and has harmful effects on both adults and children. Lead is a serious environmental public health threat to children in Louisiana and in the United States.

The Louisiana Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (LHHCLPPP) provides program funding, public and professional education, public health lead investigations, case management, data collection and analysis. The program addresses the needs of lead-poisoned children from birth through 72 months of age. The program assists family members, medical care providers and other community members to reduce and prevent lead poisoning.  LHHCLPPP recognizes that children under the age of 36 months are at greatest risk for lead poisoning.

This program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for childhood lead poisoning-prevention efforts in Louisiana. LHHCLPPP receives all blood lead laboratory reports on Louisiana resident children and contributes to the CDC national database on lead poisoning. The program also promotes the CDC’s national lead poisoning prevention guidelines.

LHHCLPPP provides specific guidance in the form Management for Follow-Up Blood Level.


How to get your house tested?

The Louisiana Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (LHHCLPPP) provides program funding for public health lead investigations based upon the elevated blood lead levels of children by a venous test result greater than 10 ug/dL.

When to test your home for lead?

LHHCLPPP provides guidance on Assessing the Risk of Lead Exposure based on CDC's recommendations

Parent Flyer was developed by LHHCLPPP as a reference guide for routine care of children as well as home check list for lead exposure risks.

Who should be tested for Lead?

Physician Flyer was created by the LHHCLPPP for Health care professionals as a guidance on routine blood lead screening for children.

These requirements apply to all children in Louisiana 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 Louisiana and Medicaid Rules.
  • 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 residential unit, child care facility, or school built before 1950?
    • Does the child live in or regularly visit a residential unit, child care facility, or school built before 1978 that has deteriorated paint?  
    • Does the child live in or regularly visit a residential unit built before 1978 with recent, ongoing, or planned renovation/remodeling?
    • Does the child have a sibling or playmate that has or did have lead poisoning?
    • Does the child come in frequent contact with an adult who has a lead-related hobby, or occupation?
    • Does the child live near an active/former lead smelter, battery recycling plant, or other industry known to generate airborne lead dust?

 Recommendations on contractors?

Please click here for the updated list of certified lead contractors as listed on the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC)

According to Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) regulations, Lead-based Paint abatement contractors must be licensed by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. For information to obtain a license to abate Lead-based Paint, you may contact the LSLBC by phone, 225-765-2301 or view their web site for additional information at:    http://www.LSLBC.louisiana.gov/



The Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule is a federal regulatory program affecting anyone who disturbs painted surfaces where lead may be present.

  • Submit an application to certify your firm for five years.
  • A one-day class will certify your renovators for five years.
  • Learn the required steps to contain the work area, minimize dust and thoroughly clean up every day.


  • Any contractor, including renovators, electricians, HVAC specialists, plumbers, painters and maintenance staff, who disrupts more than six square feet of lead paint in pre-1978 homes, schools, day care centers and other places where children spend time.


  1. Avoid risk of government fines and civil liability:
  • Without certification and by not following approved practices, you and your company can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines and put yourself and your company at risk of potential lawsuits.
  1. Protect your workers, yourself and your customers from a health risk:
  • Dust from renovation, repairs and painting can contaminate an entire home and, if inhaled or ingested, can cause irreversible damage to children and adults.
  1. Gain competitive advantage:
  • Certification makes you stand out from others and positions you as a professional contractor consumers can trust. Using your company’s certification in your marketing materials may help attract business.
  • Consumers will look for the certification before hiring contractors and may be more accepting of additional costs and time associated with doing the job safely.
  • Upon certification of your firm, your company will be listed as a Lead-Safe Certified Contractor on the EPA website, giving your firm the potential for new customers.


Potential Sources of Lead Exposure

Deteriorating lead-based paint is identified as the most probable cause of elevated blood lead levels in people in the vast majority of LDH’s environmental assessments. Elevated lead levels in drinking water is rarely the most probable cause of lead poisoning. 

There are numerous potential sources of lead exposure:

  • Cosmetics containing lead, i.e., Surma Eye Shadow and Liner
    • Foods containing lead; i.e., Turmeric spice
    • Hobbies that include using lead-based materials; i.e., Fishing weights and Gun pellets
    • Lead –based paint dust
    • Occupations that involve exposure to lead; i.e., Construction Workers
    • Soil contaminated with lead; i.e., Vegetable Garden
    • Toys containing lead such as lead-based paint

For questions regarding toy safety, please call the Consumer Product Safety Commission        

    Hotline at 1 800 638 2772
• Water with elevated lead levels
• Other sources

Lead in Water Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I be concerned about lead in drinking water?

Even small amounts of lead can cause learning and behavior problems in children. At very high blood levels lead poisoning can be fatal.

Children under the age of six and the developing fetus are especially vulnerable to health problems from exposure to lead, including elevated lead in drinking water.

Infants who drink formula prepared with lead?contaminated water are especially at risk because their brains are rapidly developing and because they consume large volumes of formula relative to their body size.

How does lead get into my drinking water?

Some parts of the plumbing system may contain lead. These include most faucets, and some solders, fittings, connectors, and pipes. In older homes the service connector pipe from the water main to the home may be made of lead. Drinking water that comes in contact with these materials, which may be present in your home or the city’s water distribution system may be contaminated with lead.

Lead is rarely found in source water (groundwater or surface water) used for drinking water.

What can I do to decrease lead in my drinking water?

Flush your water pipes before drinking or drawing water for cooking by running the water until it reaches the coldest temperature possible. This may take only a few seconds if water use in your home was heavy recently or it could take longer than a few minutes if the water sat in the pipes overnight (5 minutes).

Use only the cold?water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula.

How do I know if my tap water is contaminated with lead?

The only way to know is to test your water. You cannot see, taste, or smell lead in water.

Testing the water is especially important for residents who live in apartments.

Are faucet or pitcher water filter devices effective at removing lead?

Some faucet mounted devices effectively remove both soluble and particulate lead, but most pour though water pitcher devices are not effective at removing the particulate lead. 

Resources and References

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hot Line for lead:

1 800 426 4791

US EPA Health Effects of Lead:

CDC Lead in Drinking Water

Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control in Privately Owned Housing - HUD

In fall of 2016, the Louisiana Department of Health’s Louisiana Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (LHHCLPP) was awarded more than $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to perform lead-hazard control work on properties housing one or more children under six years of age. The grant is funded for three years with a Healthy Homes Supplemental funds in the amount of $150,000 to be used during this three year period. The grant enables LHHCLPPP to conduct lead hazard control and healthy homes work in 17 Louisiana parishes (see map below). Specifically, the funds are used for the identification of lead hazards in units occupied by children who have been lead poisoned or are at risk of becoming lead poisoned; the remediation of the lead hazards through appropriate control or abatement procedures; and, ancillary activities such as training, outreach, and casework.

For more information on whether you may qualify for this program, please read the brochure listed below or contact Trina Evans William at 504-568-8254 at the Louisiana Department of Health-Louisiana Healthy Home and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

Louisiana Department of Health Target Areas (Target Areas Highlighted in Yellow)




Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future

  • Keep the area where your children play as dust-free and clean as possible.
  • Consider hiring a certified inspector to check for lead hazards in older homes. Click on Louisiana to find an inspector.
  • Ask your doctor to test your young children for lead even if they seem healthy. Read more.
  • Be a good neighbor. Spread the word about EPA’s new lead-safe renovation rule. Read more.
  • Report chipped or cracked paint to your landlord if you live in an older home built before 1978.
  • Make sure your children do not chew on painted surfaces, such as toys or window sills.
  • Learn about and avoid toys that contain lead. Read more.


For additional information about preventing childhood lead poisoning, visit

Please see links below for informaiton on the CDC's Response to Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Recommendations in 'Low Level Lead Exposure Harms Children: A Renewed Call of Primary Prevention"




Childhood lead poisoning is the most common environmental health threat to children age six months to six years of age, but it is totally preventable. Approximately 4 percent of children in the U.S. between the ages of 6 months and 6 years haveelevated blood lead levels.

The purpose of Louisiana Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (LACLPPP) is to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in Louisiana through a comprehensive approach to prevention of lead poisoning and the management of children found to have elevated blood levels. 

Services include:

  • Monitoring of blood lead levels in children six years of age and under;
  • Identification of children with elevated blood lead levels;
  • Care coordination for these children with elevated blood lead levels;
  • Environmental inspection for the children with elevated blood lead levels; and
  • Community and professional education on childhood lead poisoning.

About Lead Poisoning

Children are particularly at risk to lead's toxic effects because their bodies are growing quickly and tend to absorb more lead than adults. Children's hand-to-mouth activities are plentiful, which introduces many non-food items into their gastrointestinal tract.  Toxic effects of lead poisoning include:

  • Leaning disabilities
  • Decreased growth
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impaired hearing
  • Brain Damage

The primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:

  • Deteriorating lead-based paint
  • Lead contaminated dust
  • Lead contaminated soil

The most common cause of childhood lead poisoning today is the deterioration or disruption of a lead paint surface of a home. Lead was used in household paint until 1978, but homes built before 1950 are more likely to contain paint with high amounts of lead. Twenty percent of homes in Louisiana and 40 percent of homes in New Orleans were built before 1950.

A child who looks and acts healthy can have lead poisoning. You cannot tell if a child has lead poisoning unless you have him or her tested. Blood tests are usually recommended for:

  • Children at ages 1 and 2 years of age;
  • Children between 3 and 6 years of age if not previously tested.
  • Children or other family members who may have been exposed to high levels of lead.

Questions can be directed to the Louisiana Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, at (504)568-8254.