Welcome to the City of New Haven Childhood Lead Poisoning education and outreach website.  Lead remains a problem within our community and the City of New Haven wants to work with the community raising awareness.  The program continues to strive to create healthy and lead-safe housing while facing the daily challenges of an ever-changing social-economic population who is in dire need of our assistance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 310,000 US children were classified as “lead poisoned,” yet lead poisoning is entirely preventable.   Lead poisoning can affect virtually every body system.  Because lead poisoning often occurs with no distinct symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.

Children from all social and economic strata can be affected.  The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead and treating children who have been poisoned by lead.  Some health care providers do not perceive lead poisoning to be a problem in their community and therefore do not routinely screen their pediatric population or test at-risk children, even when a parent requests that a child be tested.  A lack of knowledge about lead poisoning and its causes often delays parents from having their children tested or from taking appropriate safety measures.  There is no safe level of lead in the human body, ever.  

Recently, there has been much attention focused by the media on the increasing number of foreign imports coming into the United States being tainted with dangerous levels of lead.  This has been alarming especially when these imports consist of toys and other products used primarily by children.  However, today the primary lead hazard to children comes from lead-based paint.  In recognition of the danger that lead-based paint presents to children, such paint was banned for residential use nationwide in 1978.  This ban has effectively reduced the risk of lead exposure for children who live in houses built after 1978, but any house built before 1978 may still contain leaded paint.  The highest risk for children is found in houses built before 1950, when paints contained a very high percentage of lead.

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