Lead Poisoning Prevention


lead chips in paintLead exposure in young children can cause reduced IQ and attention span, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and a range of other health and behavioral effects. Most exposures occur in homes or daycares built before 1978 where lead-based paint has deteriorated because of deferred maintenance or where lead hazards have been created through renovation done without using lead-safe work practices- DHS Wisconsin.

Lead-safe renovator certification and company certification is required beginning April 22, 2010. Learn more about Wisconsin's Lead-Safe Renovation Rule, including downloadable facts, guidance documents and a list of training providers of the Lead-Safe Renovator course: visit Wisconsin's Lead program at Wisconsin Lead Program

Lead Interventions

With a staff of Wisconsin Certified Risk Assessors, the Environmental Health Division provides prompt intervention in the case of a lead-poisoned child. This includes a full lead assessment, which may include a visual inspection, a test with an XRF (Lead-in-Paint Analyzer), dust wipe sampling, soil sampling, water testing, toy or mini-blind testing, and education to parents. Follow-ups are continued until the child has a lead safe environment.

Most of the homes in our community were built before 1980 and may have lead paint in them on the walls and windows. Chipping and peeling of old paint and the dust that is created as you open and close old windows are the most common source of lead poisoning in children. Certain occupations and hobbies of the parents also lead to lead exposure. Young children are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead as they develop.

Children under age 6 are at greatest risk for lead exposure. A child is lead poisoned if the lead level is 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher. The only way to know if a child is lead poisoned is by getting a blood test. Contact your child's medical provider or the West Allis Health Department for more information or to schedule a lead level blood test.

Lead Poisoning Prevention Services

For more information regarding any of these services, or with questions about lead, contact the West Allis Health Department at 414-302-8600.

Home Inspection

Environmentalists are available to visit your home to identify potential sources of lead poisoning in your home.

HEPA Vacuum

The West Allis Health Department has a special HEPA filter vacuum cleaner available for residents of West Allis and West Milwaukee to check out. This vacuum has a special filter designed to trap lead dust.

Public Health Nurse Follow-Up

When a child is identified with an elevated lead level, a nurse contacts the family to offer information, developmental screening of the child, assistance in identifying the source of the lead exposure and counseling regarding follow-up lead testing and resources for lead abatement.