Lead is a metal that can be found in many places, including in chips of old paint, household dust, imported toys, and, less often, water contaminated by lead pipes. Exposure to lead is bad for everyone, but young children are often most at risk.
Making sure that children aren’t exposed to lead is important to their long-term health. Even low levels of lead in blood can affect children’s development.
BEDHD routinely does lead screening on Medicaid-eligible children in the WIC program. This screening is done by a finger prick. If a child has high lead levels (>3.5 micrograms/dL), his/her family will be contacted by BEDHD for additional testing, education, environmental evaluation, and follow-up.
Sometimes a child will be screened by their doctor, and they will test positive for lead. These results are sent to the State of Michigan and then BEDHD follows up on those cases if necessary. BEDHD’s goal is to make sure parents have adequate information to protect their children from further lead exposure.
Call BEDHD at the numbers below or call the MDHHS Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 517-335-8885 if you have questions about getting your child tested for lead poisoning. For information on Michigan’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, see http://www.michigan.gov/lead.
For more information, call BEDHD:
Barry County: 269-945-9516
Eaton County: 517-541-2630