Lead exposure in young children can cause reduced IQ and
attention span, learning
disabilities, developmental delays, and a range of other health and
behavioral effects. Most exposures
occur in homes or daycares built before 1978 from chipping and
peeling lead-based paint and the lead-tainted dust it creates or
hazards have been created through renovation done
without using lead-safe work practices.
Prevention of lead poisoning can be
accomplished by eliminating
lead-based paint hazards before children are exposed.
Wisconsin's goal is to eliminate this disease
by making Wisconsin's housing lead-safe, and by improving the
detection and treatment of lead poisoning in children.
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Information
Intervention at lower blood lead levels in
Previously, a child's blood lead level (BLL) of 10 micrograms per deciliter
(mcg/dL) was considered in need of intervention. In May 2012, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) concurred with its
committee's recommendation to lower that level to 5 mcg/dL
(PDF, 281 KB). The recommendation was made due to the
overwhelming evidence that lead exposure at levels below 10mcg/dL cause
damage to the cognitive, cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems.
The advisory committee also recommended that CDC
change their guidelines so that interventions previously identified for a BLL
of 10mcg/dL or greater go into effect at the new intervention level of 5 mcg/dL. CDC recommends
the following interventions for a child with a BLL of 5mcg/dL or
Confirm a capillary blood lead test with a venous draw within 1 to 3 months.
Have child tested on the appropriate
follow-up testing schedule.
Get a complete history and physical exam on
Order the appropriate laboratory tests on
the child such as tests for low iron or anemia.
Monitor the child's growth and development,
especially as the child
ages and enters school.
Provide education to the family on the
sources of lead and how to reduce any lead hazards found.
This change increases the number of Wisconsin
children in 2011 considered at risk for cognitive deficits and
other lifelong health problems, from
876 children to more than
7,500 children. The new value means that more children
will be identified as having lead exposure earlier and parents,
doctors, public health officials, and communities can take
action earlier. The advisory committee also said, as CDC has
long said, that the best way to protect children is to prevent
exposure in the first place. More information can be found in
advisory committee's report to CDC.
(Exit DHS; PDF, 922 KB)
Outreach tools for new lowered action level
The National Center for Healthy Homes
developed, for parents, a fact sheet and checklist,
Your Child's Blood Lead Test Results
(Exit DHS; PDF, 861
KB). The fact sheet explains what a child's blood lead
level means. The checklist lays out a plan for parents to
follow-up with their child's healthcare provider and explore
their child's environment for possible sources of lead
exposure. CDC developed a tool,
Blood Lead Levels in Children (Exit
DHS; PDF, 292
KB), that provides guidance to healthcare providers
for talking with parents about their child's blood lead
poisoning education and intervention:
A toolkit with recommendations and
resources (P-00554; PDF, 469 KB) is now available,
including resources specifically for
community outreach range from
print articles to social media messaging.
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School performance and behavior
affected by earlier lead exposure
Mike Amato (pictured here) is first author of a newly released
Wisconsin-Madison Study of Milwaukee students. (Exit DHS)
shows that children with moderate lead exposure before the age of
were nearly three times more likely to be suspended in 4th grade
as compared to their peers who had little or no exposure to
lead. This study showed that 23% of the education "achievement
gap" between African American and white children was explained
by early childhood lead exposure.
"Children exposed to lead don't get a fair start and it
affects them for their whole lives," adds study coauthor Colleen
Moore, a UW-Madison psychology professor emerita affiliated with
the Nelson Institute.
Another study published last year conducted by the UW-Madison
researchers on the same Milwaukee
children (PDF, 513 KB) showed that
had moderate exposure to lead before age 3 were at a
considerable educational disadvantage compared to their unexposed peers 7
to 8 years later. Lead exposed students in the 4th grade scored below
4th grade ability, an outcome with serious negative consequences for
both the student and the school.
Mike Amato, briefly
describes the study during the DHS State Health Officer webinar in
Reading Readiness Affected by Lead Poisoning
Children attending a public kindergarten in Rhode Island were enrolled
in a study of reading readiness at kindergarten entry
(PDF, 943 KB). Reading readiness is an early
measure of a child's capacity to integrate cognitive ability and skills
learned from educational and enrichment experiences. Kindergarten is a critical time for identifying children with
poor reading readiness and children with low lead exposure (5 to 9 mcg/dL)
and high lead exposure (>= 10mcg/dL). Children with lead exposure of
5mcg/dL or greater showed a decrease in readiness scores as compared to
children with lead exposure levels below 5mcg/dL. The lead exposed
children scored 4.5 to 10 points lower.
Poor school performance found due to lead poisoning across
Last year, the National Center for Healthy Homes released a report on
childhood lead exposure and educational outcomes. This
issue brief (Exit DHS) highlights recent research on the dangers
posed by low-level lead exposure and the resulting financial and social
costs. Lead exposure occurs more frequently in low-income children and
children of color and is an important factor in the educational
achievement gap between children of different racial and income groups.
Investing in the prevention of lead exposure and improved housing
quality will yield improvements in educational outcomes. Also, an
at-a-glance summary of the report (Exit DHS) is available.
Contractor Certification and Licensing
Wisconsin's Lead-Safe Renovation RuleUnder the
Renovation Rule, lead-safe renovator
certification and company certification is required. Learn more about
the rule, including downloadable fact sheets, guidance
documents and a list of training
providers of the Lead-Safe Renovator course.
online for your next certification
Apply online. Complete and submit your individual or company
certification application. You will need to be able to pay for your
certification using a MasterCard or VISA credit or debit card.
Contractor Corner: Your lead-safe renovation questions answered
Corner gets you answers to your questions about renovation
and remodeling in Wisconsin. Contractors,
rental property owners, property managers, school administrators, hospital
administrators, maintenance personnel, daycare providers, homeowners,
do-it-yourselfers, and anyone else interested
in additional information on the Wisconsin Lead-Safe Renovation Rule
can use this resource.
Wisconsin-Recognized Lead Paint Test
Find paint test kits recognized for use with your projects in Wisconsin
and learn the requirements for using these test kits.
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Videos show how to work lead-safe step-by-step
These new videos provide step-by-step demonstrations of
lead-safe work practices and were developed to supplement
required training and certification.
Contractors must be trained and certified to conduct
renovation, repairs and painting in homes and child occupied
facilities built before 1978. The videos are for:
Certified contractors who are required to use
these work practices when conducting renovation activities
on older homes.
Renovators to use when providing required on-the-job training to
Do-it-yourself homeowners who will find these videos helpful in
planning and conducting lead-safe renovation activities in their own
The videos range in length from 4 to 14
minutes. A transcript and supplies list for each video are
provided as additional tools. Please have your sound on or use
headphones to listen to the narration. You will need a media
player (such as the Windows Media Player) to view these videos.
Exterior Work Practices (9
min; WMV, 33.2 MB)
Supplies (PDF, 42 KB)
Interior Work Practices (14
min; WMV, 46.7 MB)
Supplies (PDF, 42 KB)
Personal Protection Equipment (5 min; WMV, 12.9 MB)
(PDF, 42 KB)
Using a Recognized 3M™
Lead-Check™ Test Kit
(5 min; WMV, 6.8 MB)
Supplies (PDF, 42 KB)
Recognized Klean Strip® D-Lead®
Paint Test Kit, developed by ESCA Tech, Inc. (5 min; Exit DHS)
Guidelines revised for the evaluation and control of lead-based paint hazards in
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a
second edition of Guidelines which replaces the 1995 edition.
HUD's web page (Exit DHS) has links to materials related to the
Guidelines, including overview slide presentations, tables showing
how the steps in conducting lead hazard control projects are supported
by specific chapters and appendices in the Guidelines, and
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February 24, 2014