Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

Who can use this service?

Testing is available for children, ages 0 to 21.

Where is lead found?

Lead can be found in all parts of our environment – the air, the soil, the water, and even inside our homes. Children are exposed to lead from different sources (such as paint, gasoline, solder, toys, ceramics and other consumer products) and through different pathways (such as air, food, water, dust, and soil).  Although there are several exposure sources, lead-based paint is the most widespread and dangerous high-dose source of lead exposure for young children.

Who is at risk?

Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Babies also often put their hands and other objects that can have lead from dust or soil on them into their mouths. Exposure is also a concern for pregnant women because it can result in exposure to her developing baby.

Is there a charge for this service?

Education and outreach on lead poisoning prevention is provided free of charge. For blood lead testing, you may be eligible for no or low cost services if you have Medi-CalMedicare or certain insurances. For all others, please see the lab fee page.

What is the process?

Step 1: Appointment

This service is available by appointment at the locations listed on this page. Please ask your doctor for an order, then make an appointment.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by appointment at the locations listed on this page.

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Public Health Department SLO Clinic

Monday - Friday 8-5

2191 Johnson Avenue San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 781-5500

Grover Beach Office

Monday - Friday 8-5

286 South 16th Street Grover Beach, CA 93433

Tel: (805) 473-7050

Fax: (805) 474-7473

Paso Robles Office

Monday - Friday 8-5

723 Walnut Drive Paso Robles, CA 93446

Tel: (805) 237-3050

Fax: (805) 237-3057

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you test for lead?

A simple blood test is the only way to know if your child has lead poisoning. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. Children with elevated blood lead levels can have serious health effects.

To test for lead in your home, go to your local hardware store and ask if they carry lead testing kits. Homes built before 1978 are at higher risk of having lead in their interior or exterior paint or soil.

When should children be tested for lead?

Talk to your pediatrician or primary care provider about getting your child tested. Children should be tested at 1 and 2 years of age, and anytime up to 6 years of age if they have never been tested before.

Where can I find additional resources?

The following are some great resources on lead poisoning prevention:

CDC Lead Poisoning Prevention Infographic
EPA Protect Your Family from Lead Poisoning