Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Health-care providers must refer a child to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) as soon as possible after identifying a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter or greater. The Wayne County Department of Health, Human and Veterans Services (HHVS) provides case management services for children aged 6 months to 6 years old with an elevated blood lead level at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter. This program is designed to assist parents lower the child's blood lead level by determining the sources of lead exposure, and through nutrition and health education.
The Michigan law states that an environmental investigation means both a study, for case management purposes, of the living environment of children six years of age or less with an elevated blood lead (EBL) level performed by an EBL Investigator to identify the sources of lead exposures, and the provision of a report by the EBL Investigator explaining the results of the study and options for remediation of exposures. If paint, dust or soil sampling is performed, an environmental investigation of the home and common areas, if any, will be conducted.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. How does the program work?
The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) provides services to the community for the purpose of increasing awareness regarding the hazards of lead exposure, reducing lead exposure, and increasing the number of children assessed and appropriately blood tested for lead poisoning. The CLPPP program offers home visitation, environmental home inspections, and nutritional assessments to families of children found to be severely lead poisoned. The CLPPP provides telephone contacts and educational materials to families of lead-poisoned and lead-exposed children.
Healthcare providers enter the child's lead test results in the Michigan Department of Community Health, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program's database. From the results recorded on this database, Wayne County HHVS notifies parents and informing them if their child has an elevated blood lead level of at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter. It is recommended this blood lead level get verified with a venous test. A confirmatory test on venous samples should be completed for those with an elevated test result on a capillary sample. Confirmatory tests should be completed as soon as possible.
The Wayne County HHVS, through its Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP), offers case management services that include an environmental health investigation and education for parents of children with blood levels at or above 15 micrograms per deciliter until blood levels are below 5 micrograms per deciliter. The purpose of the case management services is to identify and secure abatement of lead hazard sources and provide educational information regarding risk reduction for lead poisoning. A home visit is scheduled to evaluate the lead hazards in to educate parents/guardians of children 6 months through 6 years of age about the physiological risk of lead poisoning to the child, how to protect the child from further exposure and how to reduce the risks of lead absorption. In collaboration with the medical provider, to monitor the child's blood lead level (BLL) until it returns to <5 micrograms per deciliter for 2 consecutive test results. Initiate referral for environmental investigation and abatement.
A joint visit is scheduled with the home occupant by the field nurse and lead inspector/ risk assessor for a home visit for the purpose of providing a home inspection/ risk assessment for referrals with a blood lead level (BLL) of 10-19 micrograms per deciliter within 30 days. Children with a venous BLL > 15 micrograms per deciliter are assigned a public health nurse for lead case management services.
Q. What does lead case management services include?
The lead case management services are geared toward efforts to lower the child's BLL. These services include:
- Conducting home visits to children with very high blood lead levels
- Complete a child/family assessment (physical, psychosocial, and environmental)
- Conduct environmental home inspections to identify and test for possible lead sources in and around the home such as paint, soil, and dust
- Ensuring that unconfirmed elevated blood lead capillary test results are followed up with confirmatory venous tests
- Provide health education, monitor lead levels, and encourage medical follow-up
- Provide a plan of care and make recommendations to minimize risk of lead contact with lead, to include referrals to the LeadSafe program
- Follow up to verify that sources of lead are corrected
- Send lead retest or overdue letters to parents
Knowledge about the hazards of lead and what to do prevent lead exposure is the best combative means of protection. The purpose of the Lead Education and Outreach Program is to provide education and outreach to parents, healthcare providers, and professionals that interact with families of children who at risk of lead exposure. The program emphasizes getting your child blood lead tested. We attend community events and other public venues to teach how to proactively prevent childhood lead poisoning.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What are sources of lead exposure?
- Paint: Lead was used in house paint until it was banned in 1978. Dust and chips can be generated whenever it deteriorates or is scraped or sanded.
- Soil: Lead was widely used in gasoline until 1974, when a gradual regulated phase out began. Lead can be found in high concentrations in the soil surrounding high traffic routes as a result of leaded gasoline fallout. Lead can also be found in the soil surrounding buildings or structures painted with lead-based paint.
- Water: Drinking water may contain lead due to the use of lead pipes or lead solder. The use of lead pipes and solder (for potable water supplies) was banned in 1987.
- Other: Lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain, cosmetics, some spices
If you or others in your family work with lead, make sure that any lead-contaminated clothing is handled safely and washed separately from household laundry. Keep work areas away from any areas where children are present. Use proper respiratory protection any time you are working with lead. The following are some occupations which may result in lead exposure and consequently bring lead into the home:
- Battery manufactures
- Auto mechanics
- Metal smelters & lead-reclamation plants
- Miners, especially lead miners
- Glass manufactures
- Plastic manufactures
- Ceramic or crystal ware manufactures
- Lead abatement workers
- Steel welders or cutters
Certain hobbies have a high lead exposure
- Oil painting
- Stained glass
- Pottery making
- Refinishing furniture
- Hunting or fishing equipment
- Lead soldering
Other sources of lead exposure
- Medicinal (folk remedies)
- Lead-based cosmetics and pottery
- Antique furniture and toys
Note: "Lead" pencils manufactured today DO NOT contain lead; they contain graphite.
Q. What can I do to protect my family and myself from lead poisoning?
- Keep children away from peeling or chipping paint and accessible or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint, especially window sills and window wells.
- Cleaning floors, window frames, window sills and other painted surfaces weekly with warm water and a tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) based cleaner (1/2 cup automatic dishwashing liquid to 1 gallon of water).
- Rinse with clean water and a different mop.
- Do not vacuum hard surfaces. Normal household vacuums serve only to scatter dust further since it does not have a filter capable of containing the fine lead dust.
- Wash children's hands, faces, toys and pacifiers frequently.
Since more lead is absorbed on an empty stomach, make sure your child eats regular nutritious meals. Make sure your child's diet contains an adequate amount of iron and calcium.
- Foods high in iron: fortified cereals, cooked beans, spinach and raisins.
- Foods high in calcium: milk, yogurt, cheese and green vegetables.
If the soil around your home is likely to be lead-contaminated, plant grass or other ground cover. If lead-based paint is the source of soil contamination, most lead will be near painted surfaces such as exterior walls. In such cases, plant bushes next to the house to keep children away. If your soil is contaminated with lead, provide a sandbox with a solid bottom, top cover, and clean sand for your child to play and dig in. Wash children's hands when they come inside from playing outdoors. To avoid tracking in lead from soil, clean shoes before entering home.
Renovations and Remodeling:
If your house was built prior to 1978, test the paint in your home before doing any renovation or remodeling of painted surfaces. If lead is detected, take all necessary precautions to ensure that leaded paint is removed in a safe manner. It is strongly recommended that you have credentialed professionals trained in the removal of lead-based paint to perform these tasks. Performing repairs involving lead paint without training and proper project containment can further poison your child.
The link below has important information about best practices for Do It Yourself projects around the home.
If the lead content in your tap water is higher than the drinking water standard, let the water run for several minutes before using it. Use only fully-flushed water from the cold water tap for drinking and cooking.
Do not store food in open cans, especially imported cans. Do not store or serve food in pottery that is meant for decorative use only. Do not store wine or other alcoholic beverages in leaded crystal decanters or other lead crystal containers.
Wayne County Health, Human and Veterans Services
Health Admin Building
Wellness Services Division
Environmental Health Section
EAST WING (Parking at Venoy Road Entrance)
33030 Van Born Road
Wayne, MI 48184
Phone (734) 727-7400
Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri: 8:00AM - 4:00PM
Closed For Lunch: 11:30AM - 12:30PM