The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Vermont Department of Health recommend that all children be tested for lead at ages 1 and 2. Children who live in older housing or have other potential lead exposures should be screened every year until they reach age 6. Although no obvious symptoms appear, even low levels of lead in a child's blood can affect brain development and contribute to problems later in life. Although lead dust from deteriorated paint is the biggest hazard, there are other potential sources of contamination:
- Soil and Dust near roads (contaminated by lead from car exhaust).
- Soil next to homes or buildings painted with lead paint.
- Water (from lead solder, pipes, brass fixtures).
- Hobbies (using an indoor firing range, loading shells, making fishing sinkers, making stained glass, glazing pottery, working on cars, and others)
- Old or foreign glazed ceramic dishware / pottery.
- Parent bringing lead dust home from work (painters, remodeling contractors, factory workers, auto repair technicians, etc.)
- Ethnic home remedies such as Greta, Azarcon, Surma, Kohl, or Khali.
- Other consumer products such as older porcelain bathtubs; plastic miniblinds more than 2-3 years old; long-burning candles with metallic wicks; brass keys; and others.
While these exposures are often minimal, the combined effects from a few together can result in poisoning. More information on lead poisoning prevention.