Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

The Harris County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is committed to reducing lead poisoning in at-risk individuals, including pregnant women and children under the age of six years old in communities throughout Harris County.

The program uses funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) to:

  • Provides educational outreach to the public on the dangers and prevention of lead poisoning.
  • Informs healthcare professionals of recommendations and requirements for lead testing.
  • Refer at-risk individuals with elevated blood lead levels to case management, and help identify the lead source so the source of exposure can be eliminated.
  • Provides lead testing in four of our HCPH WIC facilities:
    • Baytown 
    • Humble
    • Fallbrook
    • Bear Creek WIC locations. 
    • As well as community partnering sites.

For more information contact us:

Email: [email protected]

Lead Poisoning is 100% Preventable!

Get Tested

Because there are often no immediate symptoms of lead poisoning, Harris County Public Health recommends at-risk individuals, including pregnant women and children under the age of six years old be tested for lead. Contact your medical provider and request a lead test.

If you do not have a medical provider, and you qualify for WIC. Harris County Public Health offers lead testing at our Humble, Baytown, Bear Creek, and Fallbrook WIC sites.

Healthcare Professionals: What You Should Know

The CDC recommends that all children age six and younger be tested for lead at least once. In Texas, if a child is on Medicaid, it is a requirement to test the child for lead at 12 months and again at 24 months, and to follow the recommended retesting guidelines. If the child wasn’t tested at 12 or 24 months, test them at least once before the age of six.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lead Poisoning?

Lead poisoning is caused by exposure to high levels of lead and remains one of the most common and preventable environmental health threat to both children and adults. Children under the age of six, particularly from economically disadvantaged, impoverish communities and those who live in housing built before 1978, are at an increased risk for developing elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs). Especially since they are in a period of critical growth and development, exposure to lead can cause serious health effects, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems. There is no known safe level of lead, as low levels of lead may still pose major neurological effects or increase risks for other physiological effects.

How Does Lead Poisoning Occur?

Lead poisoning occurs when too much lead gets into the body. Lead can enter through the body when you breathe, eat or drink something contaminated with lead. Lead-based paint in older homes and buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning. Lead paint was banned in 1978, but if your home was built before then, you could be at risk. Other sources of lead exposure are contaminated air, lead pipes, drinking water, soil, and products imported from other countries such as jewelry, toys, spices, traditional medicines, pottery, and cosmetics.

Who is At Risk?
  • Children under the age of six years old.
  • Children from low-income households and those who live in housing built before 1978.
  • Pregnant women and adults who are or have been exposed to lead can pass lead to their babies when breastfeeding.
  • Immigrants, refugees, and/or recently adopted from less developed countries.
  • Adults who work and/or reside in areas near industrial refineries and factories that produce air-borne lead contaminants which may enter their homes, or adults who engage in hobbies that expose them to lead.
How Can I Protect My Family?


  • Wet mop floors
  • Vacuum using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter
  • Wash All Surfaces often
  • Remove shoes or wipe them on a doormat before going inside
  • Wash your child's hands often, especially before eating and sleeping
  • If you work with lead, shower and change your clothes and shoes before going home or getting into your car
  • Wash your clothes separately from the family laundry if you work with lead
  • Cover bare soil with ground cover or grass.
  • Remove recalled toys and toy jewelry from your home.


  • Perform renovations, such as dry scraping or sanding painted surfaces, unless the area has been tested and does not contain lead
  • Allow your child chew on painted surfaces or eat paint chips
  • Use glazed pots or dishes that are handmade, antique, damaged, or brightly colored in shades of orange, red, and yellow .
  • Use glazed pots or dishes that were purchased from flea markets or street vendors.

To know if a toy or piece of jewelry has been recalled, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Website.

Source: Texas Health and Human Services/Texas Department of State Health Services

The Harris County Public Health (HCPH) Environmental Public Health Division is committed to eliminating lead-based paint hazards in Harris County residences built before 1978.