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Are you worried about lead poisoning?

Are you worried about lead poisoning?

July 2018

When should my child be tested for lead poisoning?

Your child’s doctor must test your child’s blood at least once a year between 9 months and 35 months old. This means your child should be tested at least 2 times before they turn 3 years old. If your child is between 3 and 6 and has never been tested before, the doctor must test your child. If your child has not been tested, you should speak to your doctor or contact your area’s health advocate. To find your health advocate, go to http://www.portal.ct.gov/dcf.

Remember: Your health insurance will pay for the tests. If your child is eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid HUSKY, Medicaid will pay for the tests.

How do I understand my child’s test results?

Blood lead level

The results of the test (or blood lead level) will be a number followed by micrograms per deciliter or mcg/dL or µg/dL. In Connecticut, a number of 5 or more is elevated. Your child’s blood results will be reported to the local health department and the State Department of Public Health. The doctor must give you educational information on lead poisoning in your first language and recommend treatment for your child. Treatment may be a change of diets or vitamins, and checking and cleaning areas of your home may be recommended. The Connecticut Department of Public Health has information on their website.

Retesting

If the blood lead level number is 5 or higher, the doctor must continue to test your child’s blood lead level until the result is below 5.

Remember: Some doctors will test more often if your child is at risk of lead poisoning. You can ask your doctor if they can schedule more frequent tests.

When will my home be inspected?

1. If your child’s blood lead level is equal to or above 20, your local health department is required to inspect your home. They will test paint, soil, dust, and water for lead. They may also test things like cultural medicines from outside the US. They will also ask you questions about your home, job, and your child’s habits. It is important to answer their questions fully and provide as much information as possible to find where the lead is coming from.

2. If your child has had two blood tests with results between 15 and 19 taken more than 3 months apart, the local health department is also required to inspect your home.



For example, if on Sep. 1, your child’s blood lead level is 21, the local health department must inspect your home. If on Sep. 1, your child’s blood level is 16, and on Dec. 15, your child’s blood level is 17, the local health department must also inspect your home.

3. If you live in a multi-family building and a child in another home has a high blood lead level, the local health department is also required to check your home if you have a child under 6.

Scheduling inspections

The local health department will receive your child’s blood lead level from your doctor. They must contact you within 5 business days to schedule the inspection. The local health department should finish the inspection within 30 business days of notification of test results.

What if there are lead problems in my home?

If the inspectors find lead hazards or problems in your home (or outside your home), the owner of the home or landlord must abate. Abatement means having a licensed company come in and fix the lead problems.

1. If your child has been tested and has a blood lead level of 20 or higher (or 15 to 19 in two tests at least three months apart), the owner of the home or landlord must get rid of the lead in the home.

2. If another child in your building has lead poisoning, and an inspection finds “defective” areas in your home, the owner of the home or landlord of the apartment unit must fix your home as well. Defective surfaces are areas with peeling or flaking paint, or surfaces that a child could chew on or eat lead paint from. Windows and doors can also cause lead dust when the lead-painted surfaces rub against each other.

How will they fix the lead problems in my home?

The local health department will issue a “lead abatement order.” This order says the owner of the home or the landlord of the apartment unit must get rid of the lead problems in the home. The owner must create a “lead abatement plan.” The owner will work with the local health department/district, which must approve the plan. This plan will include start and end dates.

Remember: You can ask for a copy of the lead abatement plan from the owner of the building. If you have any questions about the plan, you can ask your local health department. The plan will tell you the end date. If abatement is not done by the end date on the lead abatement plan, you should contact your local health department.

Abatement must begin within 45 working days of inspection results if your child has been lead poisoned. After abatement is done, the local director of health must reinspect the home within 10 business days, and write a post-abatement inspection report once they find there are no lead hazards left in the home.

Remember! If the abatement is very difficult or your child’s blood lead level is too high, you may be asked to move for a short time. The owner of the home must try to help with relocation. They may put you in a hotel for a few days, and you may also temporarily move to a relative’s home. The local health department will need to check that your new home does not have lead as well.

Who can I contact if I am having problems with inspection or abatement?

1. Contact your local health department. You can find the contact information for your local health department online.

  • Your local health department will be able to answer your questions about lead dangers, treatment, licensed companies, money for abatement and more.
  • If you are having a problem with your landlord or the owner of the building, you can also speak to your local health district official.

2. Contact the State of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health. You can contact the Department of Public Health’s Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control program at 860-509-7299. You can also visit the Department of Public Health websites at: www.ct.gov/preventlead or www.ct.gov/plomo.

Where can I get legal help?

If you are unable to get help from your local health department or the Department of Public Health, you can contact Connecticut Legal Services at 860-225-8678 for legal advice and/or representation.

How can I find a licensed contractor?

In Connecticut, only licensed contractors can do abatement. The Department of Public Health keeps a list of licensed abatement contractors. This list (roster) can be found at this website: https://www.elicense.ct.gov.

1. Click on “Generate Roster(s) under "More Online Services
".

2. Click on "Lead Consulting and Abatement Professionals," and then select "Lead Abatement Contractors
."

3. Go to the bottom and click on the “Continue” button
.

4. Click on the “Download” button.

Where can I get medical advice for my child?

If your child has been lead poisoned, there are two regional treatment centers in Connecticut:

Yale New Haven Regional Treatment Center
203-688-2195
1 Park Street

New Haven, CT 06510

Hartford Regional Lead Treatment Center
860-547-0979
114 Woodland Street
Hartford, CT 06105

How can I get help for my child in school?

Children who suffer from lead poisoning may need additional help in schools. In Connecticut, problems from lead poisoning count as a disability and may allow your child to be placed in special education programs.

If you notice signs that your child is not learning or growing as expected, you can contact the Child Find Project for more information. Under Child Find, states and schools districts must find and evaluate all children who need special education services. They will do this until the child turns 21, so students in elementary, middle, and high school can use Child Find. To contact Child Find, call 1-800-445-2722.

Where can I go to find out about additional resources?

  • Call the United Way at 2-1-1.
  • Visit the Birth–to-Three website: www.birth23.org.
  • Call the Child Development Info Line 1-800-505-7000.
  • Contact Children’s Medical Center’s Healthy Homes Program at 860-837-4241 or visit their website. The Healthy Homes Program is available in the following towns or cities: Bridgeport, Danbury, East Haven, Enfield, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Seymour, Stamford, Torrington, Waterbury, West Haven, and Winchester. If you qualify, they will help with inspections, abatement, and relocation.

Get Help From Legal Aid

Age 60+: Get help from legal aid.
Under age 60: Find legal help or apply online.
Not from Connecticut? Find help in another state.

Get help from 2-1-1

Dial 2-1-1 or go to 211ct.org for help with services in your community.

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