Rochester Office - Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
Serving Nine Counties in the Finger Lakes Region
The Rochester office of the Western NY Lead Poisoning Resource Center is supported by the New York State Department of Health.
- Education and support to medical providers and local health departments within the region. Our center works to improve lead testing and provide education and prevention activities.
- Consultation with medical providers on the medical management of children and pregnant women with lead poisoning
- Consultation with local health department staff on case coordination of children and pregnant women with lead poisoning
- Provision of lead poisoning prevention information and materials to medical providers and the public
Important Facts About Lead
- Lead is found in many places - old paint, dust, soil, some toys/jewelry/spices from other countries, etc.
- Our bodies have no good use for lead, it is poison and it takes the place of important nutrients: iron, calcium, zinc.
- Signs of poisoning like irritability, loss of appetite, and learning problems usually don't appear until unsafe amounts of lead have built up.
- Small amounts of lead can do lasting damage to babies and young children and symptoms may not be obvious.
- A blood test is the only way to find out how much lead someone may have been exposed to.
- For extreme cases, chelation therapy helps lower the blood lead level, but it does not reduce the harm already done.
- There is no cure; the only way to avoid lead poisoning is to minimize contact with lead hazards.
We Can Prevent Lead Poisoning
While progress has been made in reducing lead poisoning, lead still remains in our environment. Children are especially at risk of life-long damage due to lead exposure. We can work together to protect future generations from this toxin.
- Make sure children are tested at ages 1 & 2
- Be aware of possible lead hazards in or near any buildings built before 1978
- Use lead-safe practices when renovating, repairing, or painting a building built before 1978
- If you are pregnant be sure to get tested for lead, avoid doing renovations yourself, make sure people doing renovations are EPA certified and use lead safe work practices, and test for lead dust when renovation is complete
- If your child has been exposed to lead, it is important to:
- Prevent further exposure. Contact your county health department lead poisoning program for further advice.
- Evaluate diet and correct nutritional deficiencies, especially in iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamins C, D, and E.
- Be aware of potential attention, learning, and behavior management needs, and seek appropriate services. Younger children (less than three years old) may qualify for a referral to Early Intervention Services. Parents can request an evaluation by their school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education for children 3 years of age and older who are not yet in school and may need additional support. Children enrolled in school would be referred to the school district’s Committee on Special Education should specific needs arise.