Lead is a metal found in nature. It can be found in all parts of our environment – the air, the soil, the water, and even inside our homes. Lead is a poison when it gets into the body, and it can stay in the body for a long time. Babies and young children absorb lead more easily than adults, so it is especially bad for their health. Lead poisoning is when lead builds up in the body, usually over months or years. It can harm many different parts of a child's health and development, and the harm done may never go away.
The only way to know whether your child has been exposed to lead is through a blood test that measures how much lead is present in your child's blood. This is called a blood lead level. When a child has too much lead in their blood, it is called lead poisoning.
Most lead poisoning comes from lead paint dust, which is commonly found in both the inside and outside of homes built before 1978. Dust from lead paint comes from old paint peeling and cracking, opening and closing old windows, and home repairs and renovations. Children can also get lead poisoning from the water they drink or from some toys, toy jewelry, and home remedies.
For nearly 50 years, the Boston Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (BCLPPP) has made it our mission to eliminate lead poisoning in the City of Boston. As of 2014, 1 in 200 Boston children had lead poisoning, down from almost 6 in 200 children in 2001 and down from 4 in 10 children in 1991. However, though lead poisoning has declined significantly, Boston still ranks #1 in elevated blood lead levels across Massachusetts.
If your child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning, we are here to help.
We inspect your home to identify lead hazards that may have exposed your child to lead. This is required by law if your child has been diagnosed with lead poisoning.
We work with the property owner to correct lead hazards that have been identified.
We support you in accessing the supports and resources you need, through case management, home visits, and referrals.
We also provide the following services:
Voluntary home inspections to identify lead hazards
Trainings on moderate risk deleading for property owners and their agents so that they know how to correct lead hazards and comply with the Massachusetts Lead Law
Trainings on lead-safe renovation for contractors so that they know how to properly contain lead when renovating a home
Outreach and trainings to residents in high-risk neighborhoods and to organizations (such as community health centers, neighborhood groups, women and infant organizations, child care or day care centers, healthy head start organizations, hospitals, schools, etc.)
Call BCLPPP at 617-534-5965 for to request an inspection to find out whether your home has lead paint or to learn more about lead poisoning.