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Lead Testing


Image text: Children born on or after March 1, 1995 must have proof of a BLOOD LEAD TEST for new or continued enrollment in child care or school programs throughout kindergarten.

Children who have been lead poisoned may not look or act sick, so it is important to have them tested.
 

Blood Lead Screenings (Capillary Fingerstick) are available at the following Mobile Unit events (no age limit):
English: New Castle County - Sussex County 
Spanish: New Castle County - Sussex County (not currently available)

DPH Mobile Unit

The Division of Public Health performs Blood Lead Screenings (Capillary Fingerstick), as well as the following health services, through its Community Health Services Mobile Unit:

  • HIV Testing, Counseling and Referral
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19 Vaccinations
  • Flu Shots
  • Clinical and Community Resource Connections

The Mobile Unit is wheelchair accessible.

Vaccination and testing require patient and/or guardian consent.

No appointment is necessary; walk-ins are welcome. Dress for the weather as the wait line and check ins are outside. For health privacy reasons, only one family at a time is able to enter the unit. Units are not in service on State Holidays or weekends.

State Service Centers Providing Blood Lead Testing 

REMINDER:

  • Bring your child’s medical record to the appointment.
  • A parent or legal guardian must be with children under 18 years of age.

 

To see other steps we are taking to reduce the threat of lead poisoning in Delaware, visit our Lead Poisoning Prevention page.

 

Childhood Lead Screening:  Next Steps

Delaware’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act requires that all children be screened for lead at 12 months of age, and again at 24 months of age.  Proof of screening is required for enrollment in childcare and kindergarten. 

While there is no safe level of lead in children’s blood, capillary screening results 3.5 µg/dL or higher are considered “elevated” and require further action. 

Step 1.  Confirmatory Test.  Capillary screening results 3.5 µg/dL or higher require a confirmatory venous test.  Please contact your child’s primary care physician for this confirmatory venous blood lead test. 

The CDC’s recommended schedule for obtaining a confirmatory venous test is as follows and becomes more urgent with higher screening results:

  • 3.5 to 9.9 µg/dL - testing within 1 to 3 months
  • 10 to 44 µg/dL - testing within 1 week to 1 month
  • 45 to 59 µg/dL - testing within 48 hours
  • 60 to 69 µg/dL - testing within 24 hours

If the venous test confirms an elevated blood lead level, follow-up testing to track changes to the blood lead level may be necessary.

Step 2.  Identify and Remove the Source of Exposure.  Lead can be found in numerous places in the home and in a child’s environment, including lead dust from peeling paint, contaminated soil, drinking water (pipes/solder), vintage dinnerware as recent as 2005, certain food items, imported spices, imported cookware, imported makeup, costume jewelry, toys, imported supplements, and more.  

Delaware’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will mail a packet of information to assist parents in identifying the source of exposure, and families may receive a free home risk assessment if the confirmatory venous test is 10 µg/dL or higher.

Residents of certain zip codes in New Castle County may be eligible for home remediation.  The No Lead program addresses and remediates lead hazards in homes within 5 zip codes:  19703, 19720, 19801,19802, 19805, and 19806. Households with children under the age of 6, with pregnant women, or those built before 1978 may be eligible. https://www.newcastlede.gov/1982/Lead-and-Healthy-Home-Programs 

Step 3.  Importance of Diet.  Feed children healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C, which helps prevent lead from being absorbed.  Because lead is more easily absorbed on an empty stomach, more frequent small meals are recommended.

Step 4.  Early Education.  Early education exercises the brain, builds neural networks, and can help overcome the cognitive effects of lead poisoning.  All Delaware children ages birth to three years with a confirmatory venous test of 5 µg/dL or higher are automatically eligible for early intervention services.  

Contact Child Development Watch: 

Kent and Sussex County: 800-752-9393 

New Castle County: 800-671-0050 

https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/birthtothree/

 

Additional Resources for Childhood Lead Poisoning:

Delaware’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/hsp/lead.html 

Federal Recalls:  Consumer Product Safety Commission

Type “lead poisoning” into the search box.

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls 

CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/default.htm 



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