Massachusetts consistently has the highest childhood lead poisoning screening rates in the country. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1976, but many older homes still contain lead paint. Deteriorating paint can result in lead dust contaminating a home. Children can be exposed through normal hand to mouth activity. Elevated blood levels in children can cause harm to their brain, kidneys, and nervous system.
Every child in Massachusetts must be tested for lead exposure between the ages of 9 months and 12 months, and again at the ages of two and three years. If a child has an elevated blood lead level, the child's health care provider can prescribe treatment.