Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
a heart-shaped rock

Program Description

The Solano County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) is a state funded, county administered program established for the prevention, education, screening, diagnosis, and case management of lead poisoning in children and young adults. The program has a multidisciplinary staff composed of a public health nurse, senior health educator, senior registered environmental health specialist (REHS), and senior hazardous materials specialist. Through this coordinated effort, the program provides case management, environmental surveillance, home visiting, education and outreach for the residents of Solano County.

Eligibility

Solano County children and young adults form birth up to 21 years old with an elevated lead level test result (≥ 4.5 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL)

Information for Providers

The CLPPP Coordinator provides ongoing coordination between the medical provider and the local public health team that is essential for effective follow-up of lead exposed children and young adults. If a patient has a blood lead level result of 4.5 mcg/dL or higher, contact the CLPPP Coordinator directly with patient information to expedite services to the child and their family. Test results are also received from the state Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch as well.

Provider Guidelines

Information for Families

What is lead?

Lead is a poison that can harm the brain, kidneys, and other organs, especially in children. Even a small amount of lead in a child's body can impact their development, making it hard for them to learn, pay attention, and behave.

painting a house

Lead in Paint

Why is lead in paint?

Lead was used to make paint last longer. In 1978, lead was banned in house paint. If your home was built before 1978, there may be lead in the paint. Lead-based paint is still one of the most common sources of lead poisoning in children.

How does lead get from the paint into my child?

Any person can become lead poisoned, but a child younger than 6 years old is at a higher risk. Over time, painted surfaces crumble into household dust. This dust clings to toys, fingers, and other objects that children put in their mouths. This is the most common way that lead gets into your child. This lead containing dust can also get into the soil around the home.

In addition, a child who lives or spends a significant amount of time in pre-1978 housing or buildings with paint in poor condition or undergoing renovation may be exposed. Also, a child in publicly supported programs such as Medi-Cal, Child Health & Disability Prevention (CHDP) and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) is at greater risk.

A pregnant woman can pass lead to her unborn child. The baby can be born too small or too early. If a pregnant woman's lead level is very high, there is a higher chance of a miscarriage.

Lead gets into your body and into your child's body by:

  • eating or breathing dust that is contaminated by lead, including lead from paint
  • chewing surfaces such as windowsills painted with leaded paint or eating lead paint chips or soil contaminated by lead from paint from former leaded gasoline emissions or from industrial air emissions.
  • eating lead contaminated fruits and vegetables that were not thoroughly washed or that absorbed lead from the soil
  • eating food off dishes made with lead or food stored in leaded dishware (such as crystal, some imported pottery, and some ceramic dishes)
  • placing items in your mouth that are contaminated with lead (some toys, jewelry, keys, etc.)
  • drinking tap water that has lead in it (some homes may have leaded pipes or fixtures that may leach into the water).

What do I do if my home has been painted with lead-based paint?

There are many dangers involved in removing lead paint from your home. Every member of your family can be poisoned if removal is done incorrectly. There are safe ways to make the lead paint in your home less dangerous. In many situations, individuals receiving payment require certification. Information about lead safe work practices and lead certification may be found in the pamphlet Remodeling or Fixing Up Your Older Home? More detail information about lead-safe work practices of the brochure Steps to Lead Safe Renovation, Repair and Repainting can be found at https://www.epa.gov/.

Sanding, burning, or scraping lead paint is a dangerous way of removing lead paint. Lead paint may need to be removed by certified contractors who have been trained in safe paint removal.

Before work begins:

Pregnant women, children, and family pets should not be present when this type of work is being done. Only those who are working should be in the home and the work area should be sealed off from the rest of the house with heavy plastic and tape.

Paint may be presumed to have lead in it, and lead-safe work can be used. Otherwise, paint may be tested in any area you plan to remodel before you begin the work. If an individual is compensated, a California Department of Health Certification is required in order to test. If lead is present, or a house built before 1978 is not tested, then certification is required by contractors hired to work on the home.

California certification is required by those intentionally testing for or removing lead and federal certification may be required by those working on older homes that may unintentionally disturb lead when performing the work. For more information, go to Remodeling or Fixing Up Your Older Home? Paint may be presumed to have lead and lead-safe used. Otherwise, paint may be tested in any area you plan to remodel before you begin the work to make sure a contractor is not required for the job if lead is present.

As discussed in "Repairing or Fixing Up Your Older Home?" California certification is required by those intentionally test for or removing lead paint. Those working in older homes that may unintentionally disturb lead when performing their work.

hands holding soil and a plant

Lead in Soil

Why is lead in soil?

Almost all of the lead in soil comes from lead-based paint chips flaking from homes (built before 1978), factory pollution, and the past use of leaded gasoline. Over time, lead builds up in soil. Lead levels in soil are usually higher in cities, alongside roadways, near industries that use lead, and next to older homes where crumbling lead paint has fallen into the soil, and lead dust has washed off from the roof.

How does lead get from the soil into my child?

Lead in soil does not pass-through unbroken skin. If bare soil is covered with plants, rocks or other ground cover, children have less contact with the dirt and the lead in it. The more lead that is in your soil, the more harmful the soil can be to your children's health. Lead can also get into your body by eating contaminated fruits and vegetables that have lead dirt outside or absorb lead from the contaminated soil.

Can I protect my child from lead in soil?

If the amount of lead in your soil is too high, and if the soil is not covered with plants, grass, or thick ground cover, then you should consider one or more of the following suggestions to make your soil safer.

  • Prevent nearby sources of lead from further contaminating the soil, for example, control peeling house paint
  • Plant and maintain grass or other thick ground cover
  • Cover the soil with a thick layer of gravel, wood chips, or other appropriate materials
  • Pave the area
  • Use a planter's box to grow fruits and vegetables in uncontaminated soil, or
  • If you do not have any other choices, remove the top 3 to 6 inches of soil and replace it with uncontaminated soil

To determine if the lead level in your soil is too high, you should use a certified contractor; go to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website at www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/CLPPB/Pages/LRCcertlist.aspx.

CAUTION: According to the CDPH standard, greater than 400 ppm in the soil of the "play area" is a lead hazard. Before you move soil, call your local landfill for further instructions.

worker wearing protective gear

Don't Take Lead Home from Your Job

Can lead at work harm my child?

Yes, your child can get lead poisoned if anyone who lives in your home and works with lead. Some jobs involve working with materials that produce lead dust or fumes. You may not see the lead dust or fumes, but it can get on your hands, face, and clothes. You take lead dust from your job to your family when you wear your work clothes and shoes home. Lead dust can get in your car. It can get on furniture, floors, and carpets. Your child can swallow this lead dust and become poisoned.

What can lead poisoning do to adults?

Lead can cause permanent health damage, even if you do not have any symptoms. Health problems can show up years later. Lead can affect your kidneys, brain, nervous system, reproductive system, digestive system, and blood pressure. Some adults who are lead poisoned may feel tired, irritable, or get aches and pains.

The only way to know if you have lead poisoning is to have your doctor give you a blood test for lead.

How do I know if I work with lead?

You may work with lead if you:

  • Make or paint ceramics
  • Remove old paint
  • Tear down or remodel houses, buildings, tanks, ships, or bridges
  • Make or fix batteries
  • Fix cars or make car parts
  • Melt, cast, or grind lead, brass, or bronze
  • Make or fix radiators
  • Work with solder
  • Work with scrap metal
  • Work at a shooting range
  • Assemble computers with lead solder
  • Work with plumbing
  • Make stained glass
  • Make fishing lures and sinkers

This is not a complete list. There are many other jobs where lead can be dangerous. If you do not know whether you work with lead, ask your employer.

How do adults get lead poisoned?

Lead gets into your body by breathing or swallowing lead dust or fumes. Lead dust can get on your hands, face, or food.

How can I protect myself and my family from lead poisoning at work?

  • Wash your hands and face with soap and water before eating or drinking.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke in your work area. Go to clean areas for lunch and breaks.
  • Before leaving work, wash your hands and face with soap and water. Change into clean clothes and shoes before you get into your car to go home. Put dirty work clothes and shoes in a plastic bag or leave them in your locker at work.
  • Take a shower and wash your hair as soon as you get home. (It is better to shower at work if you can).
  • Wash work clothes separately from all other clothes. Empty your work clothes from the plastic bag directly into the washing machine and wash them. Run the empty washing machine again to rinse out the lead.

Does my employer have to protect my health?

Yes! Your employer must follow special laws to protect you from lead poisoning (Cal/OSHA Lead Standard). To find out about these laws, talk to your employer or union representative, or call the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Help line at 1(866) 627-1587 or visit www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/OHB/OLPPP/Pages/OLPPP.aspx.

Where can I get help?

  • For your child - If your child has Medi-Cal or if your child is in the Child Health and Disability Prevention program, the blood test for lead is free when your child gets a check-up. Other health insurance plans also will pay for the test.
  • Information on lead at work - You can contact the California Department of Public Health, Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch at 1-510-620-5757 or visit www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/OHB/OLPPP/Pages/OLPPP.aspx.
  • Complaints about lead at work - Talk to your employer if you think there is a lead problem at your job. If your employer does not fix the problem, you can call Cal/OSHA and ask for an inspection. Cal/OSHA will not tell your employer who made the call. Call the Cal/OSHA office in your area or call Cal/OSHA headquarters at (510) 286-7000.
types of medicine

Lead in Home Remedies

Home remedies and traditional medicines are used around the world and are thought to help some health problems. However, some of these home remedies contain lead and may make you very sick. You cannot tell by looking at or tasting a remedy if it has lead in it. Imported cosmetics may also contain lead. Imported home remedies and medicines can sometimes help cure sick people.

THESE ARE SOME HOME REMEDIES HAVE BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN LEAD:

Latin American community:

  • Azarcon, a bright orange powder also known as Rueda, Coral, Maria Luisa, Alarcon, Liga
  • Greta, a yellow powder

Both Azarcon and Greta are given for "empacho" (intestinal illness)

Both Azarcon and Greta may contain very high levels of lead

Hmong community:

  • Pay-loo-ah, a red powder given for rash or fever

Asian Indian communities:

  • Ghasard, a brown powder given as an aid to digestion
  • Bali Goli, a round bean dissolved in "gripe water" and used for stomach aches
  • Kandu, a red powder used to treat stomach aches
  • Kohl (Alkohl), a powder used both as a cosmetic eye make-up and applied to skin infections and the navel of a newborn child
  • Sindoor, a brightly colored ceremonial powder
  • Surma, a black cosmetic used on the eyes and as a teething powder
  • Some Ayurvedic medicines

What can I do if I have taken or have given my child a home remedy that has lead?

Call your doctor, clinic, or local health department for more information or for help with treatment for lead poisoning right away. Call your health department at 707-784-8070 to arrange for a free blood test to determine if there is lead in your home remedies. Medical information is confidential. Your health is the main concern. You can also call the California Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222 or visit their website at http://www.calpoison.org/ for more information. They are available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and 365 days a year to answer your questions and help in an emergency. Language interpreters are available.

ceramic jar

Lead in Imported Ceramics

What should I look for?

Lead may be in the paint or glaze of a ceramic dish. Warning signs that lead may be more likely to be present are:

  1. Color

Colorful ceramics painted red, orange, yellow, green, light blue or black may have lead, but white ceramics can have lead too

  1. Rough or raised surface

Ceramic dishes that have lead often feel rough and chalky or have raised surfaces, but even dishes with smooth and shiny surfaces may have lead. Dishes that are deteriorated, worn, cracked, chipped. Old/antique dishes may contain lead

  1. Dishes that are deteriorated, worn, cracked, chipped, old/antique may contain lead

What can I do to prevent lead poisoning?

The only way to be sure that your ceramics do not contain lead is to test them at a laboratory. Many hardware stores and some pharmacies sell lead-testing kits, but these kits will not tell you how much lead is in the dish or if there is lead under the surface of the dish (these kits only test the surface of the dish). So, a negative result does not mean the dish is free of lead.

Do not use any ceramic dishes that you know contain lead on the inside or outside.

What is Proposition 65 and the yellow triangle about?

There are two laws which set standards for how much lead is allowed in dishes. One is federal, set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The other is for California and was set by California voters in Proposition 65. The California law is much stricter. Dishes that meet the FDA standards but not California's should be marked with a yellow triangle. However, not all manufacturers use the yellow triangle. You can ask the salesperson if the pattern of ceramic you want meets the Proposition 65 standards.

What other tips are there for preventing lead poisoning?

  • Do not store food or drinks in dishes that may contain lead. Over time, lead can pass from the dishes into food; this is called leaching.
  • Do not serve acidic or hot food in dishes that may contain lead. Acidic foods like lemons or salsa and hot drinks like coffee or tea, while not dangerous themselves, can pull (leach) lead into the food from the dish.
  • Do not heat or microwave food in dishes that may contain lead. Heat can cause lead to pass from a dish into food.
  • Do not use ceramic dishes that are old, worn, chipped, or cracked.
baby

How Do I Know If My Child is Lead Poisoned?

Any person can become lead poisoned, but children younger than 6 years old are at higher risk. Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act obviously sick. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is to have your doctor give your child a blood test for lead.

Can lead hurt my child?

Yes, it can. Lead is a poison that can harm the brain, kidneys, and other organs, especially in children. Even a small amount of lead in a child's body can impact their development, making it hard for them to learn, pay attention, and behave.

When should my child get tested for lead poisoning?

At risk children should be tested at 1 and 2 years old for lead poisoning. Also, children should be tested if they are between the ages of 1 and 6 years and have not been tested for lead before. A blood lead test can be requested at any age if there is a concern about lead poisoning.

Can my child get a free blood test for lead poisoning?

If your child has Medi-Cal or if your child is in the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program (CHDP), the blood test for lead is free when your child gets a check-up. Other health insurance plans also will pay for this test.

adult cleaning their home

Simple Ways to Protect Your Child from Lead Poisoning

Keep your home as clean and free from dust as possible

The best way to clean up dust that may contain lead is to regularly wet mop your floors, wet wipe window ledges, and wash all surfaces with water and household detergent.

Take off your shoes before entering the house

Or make sure shoes are wiped well on a doormat outside the house. This will help prevent lead dust and soil from getting into the house.

Change out of work clothes as soon as you can.

If you work with lead at your job, take a shower before coming home and wash your work clothes separately from all other clothes. Lead dust brought home on the clothes of workers can spread in the house and poison children. Lead is used in many workplaces, such as paint manufacturers, radiator repair shops, battery manufacturing plants and lead smelters.

Never sand, burn or scrape paint, unless you know that it does not contain lead.

Test painted surfaces for lead.

Test before you begin remodeling your home. If the paint contains lead, it needs to be handled safely. Untested paint on structures built before 1976 is legally presumed to be lead-based paint. If the work is not done the right way, lead dust can scatter and poison your family, pets, neighbors, and workers. For information about remodeling your home safely, or to find a certified lead professional, visit www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DEODC/CLPPB/Pages/LRCcertlist.aspx.

Keep children's furniture away from damaged paint

Do not place cribs, playpens, beds, or highchairs next to areas where paint is chipping or peeling or can be chewed.

Wash your children's hands often, especially before eating

Do not use older, imported, or handmade dishes, for serving, preparing, or storing food or drink unless you know that they do not contain lead.

For more information on testing for lead in dishes, call your local health department at 707-784-8070.

Be aware and take safety measures if your job or hobbies use lead

You may work with lead if you:

  • Make or paint ceramics
  • Remove old paint
  • Tear down or remodel houses, buildings, tanks, ships, or bridges
  • Make or fix batteries
  • Fix cars or make car parts
  • Melt, cast, or grind lead, brass, or bronze
  • Make or fix radiators
  • Solder
  • Work with scrap metal
  • Work at a shooting range
  • Assemble computers with lead solder
  • Work with plumbing
  • Make stained glass
  • Make fishing lures and sinkers.

This is not a complete list. There are many other jobs where lead can be dangerous. If you do not know whether you work with lead, ask your employer.

Do not use home remedies or cosmetics that contain lead, for example: Azarcon, Greta, Pay-loo-ah, Alkohl, Ghasard, Bali Goli, Kandu, Kohl (Alkohol), Surma and Sindor

These powders may contain a lot of lead and can be dangerous for children, pregnant women, and other adults.

fresh produce

Food Tips to Help Protect Your Child from Lead Poisoning for Ages 1 to 6 Years Old

A child with a diet low in calcium and iron may absorb more lead. Healthy meals and snacks can help protect your child. It's harder for lead to get into your child's blood when your child eats:

  • Protein (seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds)
  • Vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables; serve a variety of colors, like dark green, red, orange, yellow and purple)
  • Fruits (fresh, frozen, or canned fruits; limit 100% juice without added sugar)
  • Grains (whole grains, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, brown or wild rice)
  • Dairy (low-fat dairy, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, soymilk, or nut milks without added sugars)
  • Limited foods with added sugars (candy, granola bars, soda sugary breakfast cereals and sweet treats) and added fats (fried foods, fast foods, chips, pork rinds)

Remember: younger children need smaller serving sizes and should eat healthy meals and snacks at least every 3-4 hours.

To help your child keep a healthy weight, serve healthy snacks such veggie sticks, with salsa or hummus, sliced fruit, or plain, low-fat yogurt.

For more information, contact the Solano County Health & Social Services Department

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

707-784-8070

1119 E. Monte Vista Avenue, MS 32-220, Vacaville, CA 95688