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Lead Poisoning Prevention

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Lead Poisoning Prevention 

Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

The Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in Polk County is a federally funded program that works to lower lead poisoning in Polk and Hardee counties by conducting case investigations and surveillance. The program’s objectives are to improve blood lead testing and reporting rates for children under the age of 6 years old, improve the use of surveillance system data, and to connect patients with elevated blood lead levels with resources and services. The program also provides information to health care providers, individuals, and businesses on lead poisoning prevention.

What is lead and where is lead found?

Lead is a toxin that can be especially harmful to children under the age of 6. Lead can be found in many products but is most common in the paint of homes built before 1978. Lead dust from old paint is the most common way children get lead poisoning. Lead can also be found in certain toys, jewelry, cultural medicine, water, and soil.

Why should I be concerned with lead?

Lead can have a very serious and permanent effect on a child's growth and development. Lead can cause:

  • Lower IQ
  • Hyperactivity & speech problems
  • Slowed growth & development
  • Language or speech delays
  • Hearing damage
  • Damage to the brain, kidney & nerves
  • Death

Should I have my child tested for lead poisoning?

Children with high lead levels may not look or act differently. If your child is under the age of six, talk to your healthcare provider about testing.

  • Ask yourself the following questions to determine if your child is at risk.
    • Do you live in an older home?
    • Does your child go to day care or spend time with a relative in an older home?
    • Does your child spend time with an adult whose job or hobby exposes them to lead?
      (Examples: construction, painting, metal cutting or recycling)
    • Does your child receive benefits from Medicaid, WIC or Head start? If so, testing is required.
    • Have you moved to an older building since your child's last blood lead test?

If you answered "yes" or " I don't know" to any of these questions, insist on a blood lead test.

Resources:

Poison Control
Add this number to your cell phone speed dial: 1-800-222-2122

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is dedicated to eliminating childhood lead poisoning. Information for Parents and Caregivers, Healthcare Providers, and Public Health Professionals can be found here:
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program | CDC (link opens in a new window)

Helpful resources, research, and data about childhood lead poisoning prevention can be found here:
Scientific Publications | Lead | CDC (link opens in a new window)

Florida Department of Health

Information about the Florida Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and information for parents, caregivers, healthcare providers, and renovators/contractors.

About the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program | Florida Department of Health

United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission

Please navigate to this site if you would like to sign up for lists of Toy and Product recalls:

CPSC.gov (link opens in a new window)

United States Environmental Protection Agency

For additional information on lead poisoning, safety, and other lead related resources, please navigate to:

Lead Poison Prevention | Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough

If you live in Polk or Hardee County and have recently tested positive for elevated blood lead levels or have any questions about lead poisoning, please contact us at:

Phone: (863) 578-2084

Email: polkcommunications@flhealth.gov (link opens in a new window)

Mailing Address:

Florida Department of Health in Polk County 
2090 E. Clower St 
Bartow, FL 33830