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Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Nurse Case Management Services

The Nurse Case Manager with The Wayne County Department of Health provides case management services which can includes virtual or home visitation, referral to environmental home inspections, nutritional assessments, and referral to other programs to assist parents, providers, and guardians.

These services are free to all families who have a child with an elevated blood lead levels at or above 3.5 µg/dL (micrograms per deciliter) and reside in greater Wayne County outside the city of Detroit.

City of Detroit residents:

Services offered by the Nurse Case Manager

  • Optional virtual or in home visits to assess for lead risk

  • Child/family assessments for other support needs

  • Environmental home inspections to identify and test for possible lead sources in and around the home such as paint, soil, and dust

  • Testing for pots, pans, pressure cookers etc.

  • Supporting families in their efforts to get unconfirmed elevated blood lead capillary tests followed up with confirmatory venous tests

  • Provide health education, help families monitor lead levels, and encourage medical follow-up

  • Help families build a plan to minimize risk of contact with lead and speed recovery

  • Advocate for families with providers, with state and local programs, and with community partners to get access to resources

  • Send out reminders to help parents and guardians manage ongoing follow up

Be advised that while level is 3.5 µg/dL, no amount of lead is considered safe for human beings. The CDC's final goal is that no child in the US have a blood lead level equal to or greater than 1.8 µg/dL.

If your child's lead level is below the current reference level and you have concerns, please utilize the information contained in the PDFs provided. Correct cleaning methods and a proper diet can be highly effective in the prevention of, and recovery from, lead poisoning.

The nurse case management team is passionate about helping children and their families recover from and prevent lead poisoning.

The nurse case manager will help with applications, referrals to other programs, and help you advocate for your child within governmental and non-profit organizations.

Your nurse case manager is there to help you communicate your needs and navigate the agencies involved in an efficient response to a lead poisoning.

Interim controls - what you can do now:

The Region 10 Lead Education and Outreach Program

The best way to combat lead poisoning is through prevention.The lead education and outreach program seeks to provide knowledge and tools to parents, caregivers, health care workers, and people who work with families and children on how to keep the children they care for safe from lead. This program emphasizes getting your child's blood tested for lead and discussing the results with a health care professional.We attend community events and other public venues to teach how to proactively prevent childhood lead poisoning throughout Region 10. Region 10 is the counties of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland along with the City of Detroit.

If you have questions about lead education or are a professional looking to schedule a lead education event you can contact the education outreach leader for Region 10 at (734) 727-5688

What are sources of lead exposure and how does case management help?


  • Paint: Lead was used in house paint until it was banned in 1978. Lead Dust is created when lead paint is disturbed by renovations like hanging pictures, scrapping, sanding etc. Lead paint dust and lead paint chips can also form as a result of deterioration from water damage, age, and use etc.

  • Soil: Leaded gasoline for general use was discontinued in 1996. Lead can be found in high concentrations in the soil near large volume roadways due to leaded gasoline emissions. Lead-based paint on buildings or structures can also contaminate the soil with paint chips or lead dust.

  • Water: Drinking water may contain lead due to the use of lead pipes or lead solder ( a alloy used in welding). The use of lead pipes and solder for potable (drinking) water supplies was banned in 1987. Non-potable sources like hoses, bathroom sinks and tube faucets are not regulated.

  • Other: Lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain, cosmetics, some imported spices, fishing sinkers etc.


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
  • Painters
  • Plastic manufactures
  • Printers
  • 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.

If you have recently moved from are spent an extended period of time in another country the Centers for Disease control recommends getting tested within 90 days of arriving to the United States.

Refugees and Other Newcomer Persons Resettled to the US | Lead | CDC

What can I do to protect my family and myself from lead poisoning in my home?


  • Keep children away from peeling or chipping paint and accessible or chewable surfaces painted with lead-based paint, especially windowsills and places dust collects in them. Friction from opening and closing old windows with lead-based paint can make fine dust which children can breathe in. This dust can also be eaten when the child puts their hands or toys in their mouths while playing.

  • Clean floors, window frames, windowsills and other painted surfaces weekly with warm water and Dawn dish soap.

  • Rinse floors with clean water and a different mop.

  • Rinse walls and other surfaces and using disposable paper towels or rags.

  • Do not vacuum hard surfaces, use wet cleaning to prevent breathing in lead dust.

  • On carpets, use vacuums with HEPA filters.

  • Typical household vacuums scatter dust further since it does not have a HEPA filter

  • Wash children's hands, faces, and pacifiers frequently.

  • Wash plastic toys weekly in warm water with mild soap like dawn.

    Home Owners and Tenants Guide


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.
You should not give iron supplements unless you are told to do so by a provider such as doctor. Too much iron can cause illness.


To reduce the risk of lead in your food see the pointers below.

  • Store in food safe containers
    • 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 or that is imported without testing it for lead.
    • Do not store wine or other alcoholic beverages in leaded crystal decanters or other lead crystal containers.
  • Wash all fruits and Vegetables regardless of source.
  • Be aware that imported foods and spices may come from a country with different lead regulations.
  • Click here for Dietary recommendations
  • Prepare food in lead safe cookware

    • Get imported pots, pans, and pressure cookers tested for lead if you purchased them from abroad.

    • Do not use nonstick pans from before 2013.

      • These have a risk of lead.

    • If you live in an area with lead in water only use filtered or bottled water for cooking.

    • Only use appropriate cooking utensils intended for use in the kitchen

    • Imported utensils may contain lead.


Lead paint chips, lead dust, and leaded gasoline can all contaminate nearby soil impacting children who may play in the area and those who eat produce grown in that soil. Soil samples may be taken during a lead inspection. It is often recommended to remove and replace affected soil planting. While you are waiting for testing or removal, you can block the bare soil by laying mulch, putting down gravel, rubber matting, or tarps. If gardening, use raised beds with new soil.

Other ways to reduce health risks from soil include keeping children from digging in areas that might contain lead, hand washing after playing outdoors, use of doormats, keeping pets paws clean, leaving shoes outside of home, and cleaning dirt and mud off shoes.

Renovations and Remodeling

Homes built prior to 1978 should be tested for lead paint before renovation or remodeling. If lead is detected, ensure that leaded paint is removed safely. It is strongly recommended that you have trained professionals perform this task. Renovations of lead painted surfaces without proper containment can kick up lead dust that you or your family could breathe in or ingest.


Lead pipes were used in water and wastewater systems for centuries due to them being easy to work with, having high durability, and corrosion resistance. They are no longer used in the construction of homes, but they still exist in a lot of the public systems that run under the roads and connects your house to the main water lines.

What is a considered a high lead level for drinking water? And what can I do to prevent it?

  • Drinking water that has lead at 15 parts per billion or more is consider high. When drinking water taken from more than 10 % of homes in a city is above that level, it is considered actionable and that is when Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) begins corrective actions with the city. This is referred to as an Action Level Exceedance (ALE).

To access testing for your water contact EGLE.

Water filters can help you to have safe drinking water.

  • Do not run hot water through the water filter. This damages the filter and it will not be able to filter out lead effectively.

  • If in a Boil Water Advisory only boil filtered water. Boiling water will not remove lead; it only increases lead concentration.
Action Level Exceedance | Wayne County
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