The North Carolina Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program was formed in 1994 to prevent and eliminate lead poisoning in children six years of age or younger. All children are required to have a blood test at one year of age. If two consecutive tests reveal a blood lead level above 5 ug/dL of blood, a home investigation will be offered by the Environmental Health department to determine the source.
Why Lead is Dangerous
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body. Even small amounts can cause damage to mental and physical development. In smaller quantities, lead poisoning can lead to learning and behavioral problems, brain damage, hearing loss, anemia, and limited physical abilities. In higher quantities, lead can cause organ damage, seizures, coma, and/or death. Lead can be inhaled through the nose and mouth or ingested when consuming contaminated products.
Common sources of lead poisoning include:
- Lead-based paint
- Contaminated air, water, and soil
- Crayons, jewelry, and toys manufactured outside the United States
- Candy from outside the United States