Children are at the highest risk of lead poisoning due to their frequent hand-to-mouth behavior, small stature, rapidly developing nervous system and high absorption of lead compared to adults.  Although the outcomes of lead poisoning are serious and long lasting, the symptoms are subtle.  The best way to know if a child has lead poisoning is to have a blood-lead test.

As part of our Healthy Kids Campaign, EHC coordinates free blood lead testing for at-risk children and pregnant women in San Diego’s low-income communities. The non-invasive test involves collecting a blood sample from a small finger prick. Test results are immediate. If a child or mother tests positive, families are referred for further medical evaluation. In addition, families are offered a free home inspection. If evidence of lead-based paint is found, the home is scheduled for lead remediation.   

Get more information on upcoming blood-lead testing events.

Click here for links to other local, state and national resources on lead poisoning prevention compiled by the San Diego County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.  

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Other sources of lead

In addition to old paint, lead can be found in soil, pottery and other unexpected places, especially imported products, including candy, toys, and home remedies. All of these sources have contributed to the lead poisoning of children in San Diego County.

Learn more about our lead-free candy work.

Download information on lead in pottery.