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Consumer Alert: Lead Paint Screening

Commissioner Miller is alerting parents that federal law requires that assessment of and testing for risk of exposure to lead for children must be covered by insurance as preventive services, with no cost to the family.

Federal law follows the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Bright Futures guidelines for infants, children, and adolescents in setting the guidelines for lead risk assessment and testing. 

These guidelines call for assessing whether a child is at risk of lead exposure, and testing if the child is found to be at risk, at 6, 9, 12, and 18 months of age, and then at ages 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Children can be exposed to lead from lead-based paint, used in older homes before lead-based paint was banned in the United States in 1978, or from lead in water due to leaching from old lead pipes.

In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

More information on AAP guidelines for lead testing is available here.