Lead Poisoning Prevention
The number one cause of lead poisoning in young children is lead dust from deteriorating lead paint. Lead poisoning can seriously affect your child's health.
The Environmental Health Lead Program offers a variety of services to help residents identify lead hazards. To those interested residents, a free lead inspection of your home is offered. This inspection includes a visual inspection, an XRF test (Lead-in-Paint Analyzer), education about lead hazards, and consultation.
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.
Environmentalists are available to visit your home to identify potential sources of lead poisoning in your home.
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.