Lead Poisoning Prevention

Environmental Health Services (EHS) works closely with care coordination staff to address lead poisoning in Chemung County.

Care coordination staff at the Health Department work with families to promote harm reduction strategies that protect children from further exposure to lead. The health department offers free finger-stick lead testing to children residing in Chemung County. To have your child tested for lead at the Health Department, call 607-737-2488.

EHS conducts home inspections to identify lead within the home. If lead is found in the home, a notice and demand will be issued to the property owner or the person responsible for the property maintenance to ensure timely corrections. The Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention program offers free lead home inspections for zip codes 14901 and 14904 in the City of Elmira. To have your home inspected, call 607-873-1308 or complete the form available at the link below:


Childhood Lead Primary Prevention (CLPPP+) Program

If your home was built before 1978, it will likely contain lead paint. Lead is especially dangerous to children. Lead poisoning can harm children forever. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is to have them tested. Call (607)737-2488 for a free fingerstick lead test. For more information about having your home tested for lead, call (607) 873-1308.

What is lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring element that can poison the body. It harms young children by affecting the brain, liver, kidneys, and bones. It is stored in the teeth and bones and collects over time. The harmful effects of lead can be severe or even permanent. Some severe health effects include delayed growth, reduced IQ, learning, and behavior problems, and can even cause problems to pregnant women and their unborn children. There is no effective treatment to overcome the harmful effects of lead poisoning. However, lead exposure is preventable! Young children can be exposed to lead by crawling, playing on the floor, and putting things in their mouths. Digesting lead is the main source of exposure in children.

Where can lead be found?

Lead can be found in places and things we may not normally consider dangerous! The most common lead source is chipping paint in homes built before 1978. Lead can be in other places, such as in contaminated dust, soil, and water. It can be found in certain ceramic pottery, toys, and materials used in hobbies, such as stained glass, cosmetics, medicines, and remedies outside the United States. 

Who is at risk?

Usually, children around the ages of 6 months to 6 years are at a higher risk for lead poisoning. However, pregnant women and their unborn children are also at risk for lead poisoning. If you are pregnant, you should avoid places containing lead hazards, foods, or any items that may contain lead.

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