Childhood blood lead testing is universal in Connecticut. This means every child between ages 9 months and 35 months must be tested for lead poisoning each year. Most pediatricians will test at ages 12 months and 24 months of age in the pediatrician office by doing a finger stick or heel stick. This testing is not optional; it is the law.
Testing is also recommended for children between 25 -72 months if he or she has not been previously tested.
Connecticut’s Regulations on Lead Screening:
- If a capillary blood test is elevated (equal to or greater than 5 μg/dL), confirm with a diagnostic (venous) blood lead test.
- Children with an elevated diagnostic blood lead test require additional follow‐up blood testing at appropriate intervals. Click here for more information.
- Children should be tested until BLL is below the reference value of <5μg>5μg>
What to do if your child has a blood lead level test results of:
- Less than 4: No lead level is safe for your child. A blood lead level of less than 4 is not considered elevated by Center for Disease Control & Prevention standards, but it is an indication that your child is somehow being exposed to lead. If you live in a home built before 1978, or if he/she spends considerable amount of time at someone else’s older home, monitor your baby’s activities inside and outside of the home to make sure he/she is not ingesting dangerous lead paint chips or lead dust. Clean all toys and inside surfaces using wet cleaning methods weekly.
- Between 5 and 9: This blood lead level means that your child has an elevated amount of lead in their blood and is considered above the CDC action level. Additional re-testing must be done with your pediatrician.
- Between 10 and 14: This blood lead level means that your child has an elevated amount of lead in their blood and is considered above the CDC action level. Additional re-testing must be done with your pediatrician.
- Between 15 and 19: This blood lead level means that your child has an elevated amount of lead in their blood and is considered above the CDC action level. Additional re-testing must be done with your pediatrician. If your child has had two capillary blood lead tests with results of 15-19 μg/dL more than 90 days apart, your town’s local health department must come to your home to complete an environmental inspection in order to find potential lead hazards.
- 20 or greater: This blood lead level means that your child has an elevated amount of lead in their blood and is considered above the CDC action level. Additional re-testing must be done with your pediatrician. If a follow-up venous test result is 20 μg/dL or greater, your town’s local health department must come to your home to complete an environmental inspection in order to find potential lead hazards.
Click here to view the re-testing schedule.
Lead poisoning is irreversible; once someone is lead poisoned the effects are with the person throughout their life. There is no treatment for lead poisoning or any way to eliminate the health impacts, however cleaning the home environment with wet cleaning methods can help to lower blood lead levels. If children are poisoned at a level of 45 μg/dL or more, a hospital will provide chelation therapy to extract the lead from the child’s body, but helps to reduce lead levels to safer levels.
Lead tricks the body into thinking it is iron, calcium or zinc. Eang healthy can help decrease the lead from staying in the body for a long time. Don’t let your child go through the day on an empty stomach.
Read the Eating Right Helps Fight Lead Poisoning Fact Sheet for more information.
Pregnant women who are lead poisoned can pass on the lead to their unborn baby. They are also at increased risk for high blood pressure, miscarriage, low birth weight babies, and learning and behavior problems in a child.
Regional Lead Treatment Centers
There are two Regional Lead Treatment Centers in Connecticut that specialize in providing guidance and assistance with clinical management of a lead poisoned child. They are located at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford and Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven.
- Contact the CCMC RLTC at (860) 547-0970, X6864
- Contact Yale RLTC at (203) 688-2195 (the secretary will transfer to the appropriate contact)
If you rent the home you live in, there are things you should know about lead paint and your rights as a renter.
- A landlord is not allowed to deny housing to anyone because they have children.
- Your landlord must keep the painted surfaces in your apartment in good condition. And s/he must work in a specific safe manner when making updates to the interior and exterior of the home if the house was built before 1978. Learn more here.
- By law, your landlord is required to conduct a lead inspection or lead abatement when a child under the age of 6 lives in the residence and has a venous blood lead level of 20 μg/dL or (2) 15-19 μg/dL tests greater than 3 months apart. It is your responsibility to allow your landlord access to your unit for this to occur.
- If the local health department orders you to leave your home due to your child having an elevated blood lead level, your town must help you find new housing. If you have questions or concerns, contact your Local Health Department.
Click the links below for more guidance:
Repairs (video): https://ctlawhelp.org/self-help-guides/videos/tenants-rights-repairs
1. Eliminating lead paint dust is one way to go about preventing childhood lead poisoning. Read this brochure to make sure you are taking the proper steps to keep your home safe for your children.
3. Lead in Drinking Water Factsheet
4. Lead Poisoning Prevention Fact Sheet: