Lead Poisoning: Information for Health Care Providers

Testing for lead poisoning is a key component of childhood lead poisoning prevention. Most children with elevated blood lead levels exhibit no symptoms. Early detection of a child's elevated blood lead level permits timely identification of possible lead hazards in order to prevent further elevation of child's blood lead level. Since 1993, New York State law has mandated that medical providers screen all children for lead poisoning at 1 and 2 years of age, and assess risks (at least annually) to determine the need for a blood lead screen for any child between the ages of 6 months and 6 years.

Pregnant women should be assessed for lead exposure during their first prenatal visit. For adults who work with lead (for example, those who work in construction around renovation, repairs, demolition and clean-up), federal and state laws require employers to protect workers from lead exposure. Do-it-yourselfers, hobbyists and other professionals who work with lead, such as artists and frequent shooting range visitors, should consider getting a blood lead test.

Blood lead levels of 5 mcg/dL or greater for all NYC residents must be reported within 24 hours:

For children younger than 18, fax to 347-396-8935.
For adults, fax to 347-396-8883.
After business hours doctors should call 212-POISONS (212-764-7667).

For any additional questions, call 646-632-6023.

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