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Talk To Your Healthcare Provider

Are you concerned about lead exposure? Your health care provider can help. Prepare for your visit using the resources below.

Should you get a lead test?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a lead test for ALL children at ages 12 and 24 months. Lead tests are required for children enrolled in Medicaid and/or in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Pregnant women can also get a lead test. A lead test can be done at your usual clinic or doctor’s office or at your local health department.

Prepare for Your Health Care Visit

If you are concerned about lead exposure, your health care provider will need specific information from you. Be ready to answer these questions and discuss your answer to these questions with your healthcare provider.

Children ages 12-24 months are at highest risk of lead exposure. They crawl on the floor and frequently put their hands in their mouths. Through age six, children’s brain development is most sensitive to the harmful effects of lead exposure.

Exposure to lead during pregnancy can harm the health of the growing fetus. Click here to learn more about protecting against lead exposure during pregnancy. 

Though most homes, schools and buildings built after 1960 have no lead paint, lead in house paint was not banned in North Carolina until 1978. About 15% of homes in North Carolina were built before 1960. If you live in an older home, peeling or chipping paint can be a major source of lead exposure. Learn about steps you can take to protect your family from exposure to lead from paint. You can also reach out to a lead specialist to get help with safe removal of lead in your home.

Sometimes, lead can be present at your job site. Lead dust can be carried home on your clothes, shoes, hair, and skin and can expose your family to lead. Learn about how to prevent take-home lead from work English version | Spanish version.

Lead is present in materials used in many hobbies. People who spend time renovating older homes, using firearms, making bullets and applying glaze or pigments can be exposed to high levels of lead.

Lead in Drinking Water

Lead can be found in drinking water. To find out if you have lead in your drinking water, have your water tested. Call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1.800.426.4791 to find out how. Many water filters can safely remove lead and other pollutants from your water at very low cost. Look for a water filter that is certified by the NSA to remove lead.

Learn about other potential sources of lead in your home

Did you know lead can be found in everyday household items like glazed pottery, imported spices and vinyl miniblinds? Learn more about potential sources of lead in your home.