Lead Facts

Lead Poisoning in Children


Children 6 and younger are especially vulnerable to lead paint. 90% of all lead poisoning cases are due to lead paint dust. Lead enters the child's bloodstream through ingestion and inhalation.

Lowell is one of eight cities in Massachusetts that is classified as a "high risk" community for childhood lead poisoning. It is important to have your child's pediatrician regularly check lead levels at age 1, 2, 3, and at 4. Children ages 1 and 2 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning due to frequent hand-to-mouth activity as they explore their environment. All children's must have their lead levels tested prior to school entry.

Fact About Lead & Lead Poisoning


Important facts about lead and lead poisoning:
  • Prior to 1978 lead was added to paint to make the application process easier and to make the paint last longer.
  • Leaded paint was used widely in the U.S. housing stock until the effects of lead poisoning became known. Lead paint was eventually banned in 1978.
  • Old lead paint breaks down over time and lead becomes a hazardous part of household dust
  • 90% of all lead poisoning cases are from contact with lead paint dust.
  • Because of their rapidly developing bodies, lead exposure can damage the brain, kidneys and nervous system of children under age 6.
  • Children between the age of 1 and 2 are especially vulnerable to lead paint due to normal hand to mouth activity.
  • Women who are pregnant can pass lead to the baby.
  • Children's lead levels should be tested regularly from ages 1-4, and must be completed prior to school entry.
  • If you are a homeowner or landlord consider having your property deleaded.
  • If you are a tenant with a child under age 6, talk with your landlord about deleading services available through the City of Lowell.
  • To help reduce and prevent lead paint poisoning, the Lowell Health Department provides lead tests to children ages 6 and under.
  • To learn about lead-related product recalls, please click here to access the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Lead Recall page.
  • To find out if your home has a lead compliance certificate, please visit the Massachusetts Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

Resources for Families


The following are resources for families.

Resources for Landlords


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Resources for Families & Landlords


Resources for Home Renovators & Contractors


The following are resources for home renovators and contractors.