Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

890 children had a confirmed elevated blood lead level in Iowa during 2017

Although preventable, lead poisoning remains a significant health concern for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no safe level of lead in a child's blood. Elevated levels can harm a child’s central nervous system and are associated with reduced IQ, behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) leads efforts in Iowa to prevent lead poisoning in children below the age of 6 through the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP).

Click on one of the content boxes below to access information for Parents & Guardians; Providers, Labs, and Schools; Local County Programs; or Property Owners.

Parents & Guardians content box  Providers, Labs, and Schools content box  Local County Programs content box  Property Owners content box 

The CLPPP works to reduce the number of children exposed to lead in Iowa through the following activities:

  • Educating parents, providers and communities about the risk of lead poisoning in children and how it can be prevented
  • Identifying children with elevated blood lead levels (EBLs)
  • Linking the family to services that can help reduce additional lead exposure
  • Providing supportive care through case management
  • Identifying lead hazards and providing guidance to eliminate or control any hazards found
  • Monitoring blood lead levels of children over time to determine prevention and intervention methods
  • Referring families for additional services when needed

State and local funds are used to carry out the program statewide through a combination of direct services, and contracts and technical assistance through various community partners, including local health departments, Title V child health clinics, health care providers, area education agencies and housing agencies.

All blood lead tests are required to be reported to the Iowa Department of Public Health to monitor lead exposure for all Iowans. For more information, contact us at 1-800-972-2026 or online at Contact Us.

COVID-19 Guidance to Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs

In response to the State of Public Health Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Reynolds on March 17, 2020, the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) within the Iowa Department of Public Health is temporarily suspending routine activities that involve face-to-face meetings with providers, members of the community, landlords or property owners, certified lead workers and the families of children with elevated blood lead levels. This includes environmental inspections and home visits for the confirmed cases of lead exposure.

  • Case management services normally provided for confirmed blood lead levels of 15 mcg/dL or higher should be provided remotely by mail, phone or video chat as much as possible. This includes services provided for children with confirmed blood lead levels of 20 mcg/dL or higher.
  • Children that require blood lead retesting or confirmation testing should be referred to their medical provider to discuss options. Testing may need to be deferred until after the State of Public Health Disaster Emergency.
  • Whatever questionnaires you use for EBL home visits and environmental visits can also be administered remotely, as well as dietary/nutritional guidance. In-home environmental inspections should be deferred until after the State of Public Health Disaster Emergency. In the interim, the following lead poisoning prevention and intervention steps can be provided to the family:
  1. Wash your child’s hands before meals, snacks, and naps/bedtime.
  2. Wash your child’s toys, blankets, and pacifiers often.
  3. Keep your child’s play areas clean by wet mopping or wet wiping with a disposable cloth.
  4. Check your home for lead-based paint that is chipping or peeling.
  5. Regularly clean high-risk areas like window areas, floors, and porches to remove possible led dust or paint chips.
  • The decision to provide in-home environmental investigations and consultations for children with confirmed blood lead levels greater than 40 mcg/dL should be decided on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the IDPH CLPPP, Iowa Poison Control Center (800-222-1222), and management at the local CLPPP.
  • If a decision is made that services need to be conducted in person while the State of Public Health Disaster Emergency remains in effect, personnel are recommended to follow guidance developed by the Iowa Department of Human Services for home visitation and contact found at this link: https://dhs.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/DHS_COVID19_HomeVisitationGuidance.pdf.
  • All contact efforts and services provided – remotely or in-person – must be documented in HHLPSS for local CLPPP contract obligations to be considered fulfilled.

Updates to this guidance will be issued as needed. Questions can be directed to Kevin Officer – kevin.officer@idph.iowa.gov.

CDC COVID-19 Guidance

CDC published “What Public Health Inspectors Need to Know about COVID-19” guidance for employees and employers:

COVID-19 Data and Information

Decrease in BLL Testing during COVID-19 Pandemic