Lead Poisoning Data and Data Analysis

The Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program webpage allows you to query data on childhood lead poisoning in Wisconsin and other environmental and health topics.

Annual numbers

Data are reported for Wisconsin residents under the age of 6. While no lead level is safe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) introduced a blood lead reference value to identify children with higher levels of lead in their blood compared to most children. This value has changed over time. The reports below each reference a blood lead level to represent lead poisoning based on the CDC's guidance at the time.

Time Trends

This section contains graphs showing the trends of the number of children tested for lead poisoning and the number of children found to be lead poisoned in Wisconsin.

Lead poisoning in children is defined in Wis. Stat. ch. 254.11(9) as a level of lead in the blood of 5 µg/dL or more.

Tested for Lead

The number of children tested for lead poisoning remained static from 2001 to 2006 at about 80,000 children per year and then increased in 2007 through 2011 (see graph below) to more than 100,000 children annually. From 2012-2015 the number of children under age 6 tested for lead declined. Since 2015 the number of children under age 6 tested for lead has remained relatively stable at around 88,000 children tested.

Graph of number of children under 6 tested for lead 2006-2018

Poisoned by Lead

The number of children with lead poisoning has shown a decline over time, although in the most recent years there is little change in prevalence of lead poisoning among children tested (prevalence of 4.9%, 4.9%, and 4.5% in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively). The incidence of newly identified lead poisoning cases has shown similar patterns to prevalence of all lead poisoning cases; the incidence in 2018 was 3.2% (compared with 3.8% in 2016 and 3.6% in 2017).

Graph of number of children under age 6 with blood lead lever greater or equal to 5mcg/dl

Last Revised: May 16, 2022