Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
The Harris County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is committed to reducing lead poisoning of children in Harris County. The program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For more information on this program, contact us at 

What We Do:

  • Educational outreach to the public on the dangers and prevention of lead poisoning 
  • Inform health care professionals of recommendations and requirements for lead testing
  • Lead testing at two Harris County WIC locations (Antoine and Shaver) 
  • Case coordination for children with elevated levels lead of lead, to identify the lead source and ensure the poisoning discontinues
What is Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, usually over months or years. Children age six and younger are most at-risk. High levels of lead can cause brain development delays, speech and language problems, damage to the nervous system and kidneys, and in extremely high cases, seizures, unconsciousness and even death. Most significantly, there are often no symptoms.
How Does Lead Poisoning Occur?
Lead-based paint in older buildings is the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Lead paint was banned in 1978, but if your home was built before then, your child could be at risk. And lead isn’t only found in paint. It can also be in products from overseas like jewelry, toys, spices, pottery and cosmetics. 
How Can I Protect My Family?
Do Don't
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.

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

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 and dishes that are

handmade, antique, damaged, or brightly colored in orange, red, or yellow Use glazed pots or dishes that were purchased from flea markets or street vendors

 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. Learn more.

Get Tested

Because there are often no symptoms of lead poisoning, Harris County Public Health recommends children age six and younger be tested for lead at least once. Contact your medical provider and request a lead test. 

If you don’t have a medical provider, and you can qualify for WIC, Harris County Public Health offers lead testing at our Antoine and Shaver WIC locations.

Doctors: 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 one before age six.