Child Lead Poisoning Prevention

The Child Lead Poisoning Prevention program promotes prevention of lead poisoning and interventions for children who have detectable levels of lead in their blood. The program focuses on outreach, education, surveillance, case management and environmental investigation.

Lead poisoning can affect any organ in the body, but as a neurotoxin it is especially dangerous to the developing brain and nervous system. This makes exposure to lead particularly dangerous for young children and fetuses. Children with lead in their blood can have learning, behavioral and growth problems.


  • Promote testing of every child at their routine one and two year CHDP exam
  • Promote testing of older children at-risk and non-CHDP children by assessing their  lead exposure particularly those living in pre-1978 housing
  • Provide outreach and education to programs and service providers on lead hazards, health effects and exposure reduction measures
  • Inform medical providers of their responsibilities in regards to screening, monitoring and case-management of lead-poisoned children, and keep them informed on the latest research about lead consequences and consumer product alerts
  • Provide case management and environmental investigation for children with elevated blood lead levels that meet case definition
  • Provide client monitoring and education for all children with measurable blood lead levels
  • Train and monitor compliance of contractors and other workers in regards to lead-safe work practices
  • Increase awareness for general population about consumer products that contain lead
  • Ensure elimination of lead-hazards in housing and public areas in the Count

Who is Eligible

There is no eligibility requirement for services from the SMCLPPP; all children can receive monitoring and case management.  Blood lead testing focuses on
children under six years of age, who are receiving services through publicly funded programs such as, Medi-Cal, WIC and CHDP.

How to Apply

The SMCLPPP (San Mateo County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program) receives reports on elevated blood levels and follows up with the client or provider.  There is no application process.  Any parent concerned about their child’s lead exposure can call for a consultation with a staff member.

Area Served

San Mateo County

Fees Charged



Q: How can my child get a lead test?
A: Your child can get a lead test from his/her primary care provider, most insurances will cover the cost.

Q: What do I do if my child has an elevated blood lead level?
: We follow-up on every child who has an elevated blood lead level. The intensity of services is dependent on how high the blood lead level is. Children who are eligible for case management receive a public health nursing assessment and an environmental investigation.

Q: What happens if my child is eligible for case management?
All children eligible for case management receive an environmental lead risk assessment. This includes sampling for deteriorated lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust and soil, and lead in drinking water. Follow-up enforcement and clearance inspections are conducted to ensure elimination of any lead hazards identified.

Q: How can I find out about lead in various consumer products like toys, candies spices and ceramic pottery?
: Through presentations, health and community events, school-based poster contests and community displays our program disseminates information about lead, sources, reduction measures and resources. You can also check the links  in this section of the website: Consumer Product Websites

Q: How can I test my home for lead in the paint, soil, dust and water?
: Check the link called "Simple Steps to Protect Your Child From Lead Poisoning" under Health Education on the right hand side. There are contractors who are certified to test lead and that list is updated regularly.  You can call the SMCLPPP (San Mateo County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program) for this information.  There is a directory of Lead Hazard Reduction Services on the Resource Links.

Q: How do I file a complaint about someone [sanding, grinding, scraping, power washing, demolishing] a building with lead / lead based paint?
A: Check the link "To file a complaint" under resources on the right hand side.

Q: How can I safely remodel / paint / do work on surface containing lead-based paint?
A: Check the link "Simple Steps to Protect Your Child From Lead Poisoning" under Health Education on the right hand side.

Q: Is there anything else I need to know about the San Mateo County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program?
A: Our program works with CHDP medical providers to assure that at-risk children receive lead tests at appropriate intervals, are given anticipatory guidance, and get proper follow-up when lead levels are elevated. We provide outreach and education to all pediatric providers in San Mateo County, upon request, about prevalent local lead sources, prevention tips and services available. Provider information and referrals for anyone concerned about lead exposure (adults and children) and/or elevated levels of lead in their blood.

Q: What if I am pregnant; do I need to get a lead test?
A: Lead is very dangerous to the developing baby and lead from the mother passes the placenta into the baby’s blood.  If you think you might have been exposed to lead in the past or are currently exposed ask your prenatal provider for a lead test.