Infant/Child lead information

Protect Your Family from Lead Poisoning


What is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring element that can be found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. Even though there are some beneficial uses of lead, it is extremely toxic to humans and animals.[1] Children under 6 years of age are most at risk for lead poisoning.



What Can Happen to a Child Poisoned by Lead?

Even a small exposure to lead can cause serious problems for a child and can cause: [2–3]


  • Slowed growth and development
  • Hearing and speech problems
  • Learning and behavior problems
  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Poor muscle coordination


– Low-lead exposure is most common, but exposure to high amounts of lead can have devastating effects on children including seizures, unconsciousness, and, in some cases, death. [3]

– Lead exposure during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born too early or put you at risk for a miscarriage. [1] Please visit Michigan Department of Health & Human Services  for more information.



Main Source of Lead in Calhoun County

The most common source of lead is from lead based paint found in homes built before 1978.

  • Paint that peels and cracks can create lead dust in the home, which can spread to other areas of the home including toys, tables, window sills, and floors. [1]
  • A child could be poisoned if they swallow or breathe in the contaminated dust. [1]



Safe Cleaning

Tips on how to safely clean windows, porches, doors, stairs, floors, and child play areas: [4]

  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning. If you do not have rubber gloves make sure to wash your hands after cleaning.
  • Keep painted surfaces clean, using warm water and soapy cleaners.
  • Use supplies you can throw away. Rinse sponges and mop heads often during cleaning and always empty wash water down the toilet.


Please visit the Guide to Safe Cleaning from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services for more information.



How to Protect Your Child from Lead Poisoning

  • Wash hands often, especially before meals and sleep.
  • Make sure children eat nutritious meals. Foods high in calcium and iron keep lead from being absorbed into a child’s body. [5]
  • Remove your shoes at the door. [5]
  • Keep children from chewing on painted surfaces and eating soil.
  • Keep play areas clean, and wash toys, bottles, and pacifiers frequently. [5]
  • Use a certified Repair and Remodeling Professional when renovating your home. [5]
  • If you rent, tell your landlord about peeling/chipping paint.


For more information on lead poisoning prevention tips, please visit the Create a Lead Safe Home handout from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.



Lead Remediation Programs

Resources for lead remediation assistance for eligible families:



Ask to Lead Test All Children Under the Age of 6 Years

  • Contact your child’s primary doctor.
  • You may be eligible for FREE lead testing – Call the Calhoun County Public Health Department for more information:  269.969.6370 (Battle Creek) or 517.629.9534 (Albion)
  • WIC clinics offer clients FREE lead testing – Call for more information: 269.969.6860 (Battle Creek) or 517.629.9434 (Albion).



1  Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Learn About Lead. Available at:,5417,7-310-65222_65232---,00.html. Accessed June26, 2017.
2  Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Lead. Available at: Accessed June 26, 2017.

3  Environmental Protection Agency. Lead. Available at: Accessed July 6, 2017.
4  Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Guide to Safe Cleaning.
Available at: Accessed July 18, 2017.
5  Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Parent Handout: Is Your Child Safe From Lead Poisoning? Available at: Accessed July 18, 2017.



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