Skip to Content

Department of Health Services

Environmental Health

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

Keeping children safe from lead poisoning requires attention from everyone in a child's life. Lead is harmful to children because even small amounts of it in their bodies can limit their physical development. Lead is found in a variety of locations and products, such as old house paint, contaminated soil, ceramic bowls and plates, and hobby supplies. The biggest source of lead exposure for children is from old chipping house paint.

The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program (CLPP) is funded through the State Department of Public Health. The CLPP employs a team of health professionals, who provide services to parents, healthcare providers, and the general public. This team is comprised of:

  • Registered Environmental Specialists, who conduct investigations to determine the source of lead contamination in the home.
  • Public Health Nurses, who work with families to identify possible sources of contamination and to educate families on ways to reduce the risk of lead contamination.
  • Health Educators, who conduct health fairs, workshops and special trainings for health care providers and the general public.

Sonoma County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Public Health Division, Health Services
Program Office (800) 427-8982
Lead Assessor/Inspector (707) 565-6565

The CLPP program provides services in two major ways:

Case Management and Source Identification for Lead Poisoned Children

If a child is suspected to have lead poisoning or if testing is required by a government assistance program, their doctor will request a blood test. 

  • If the blood test shows over 9.5 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) and less than 14.4 mcg/dL of lead, another blood test is administered 30 days later.  If the blood level is still in that range then a Public Health Nurse (PHN) and Certified Lead Assessor/Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) will visit the family to provide education to prevent further lead poisoning and attempt to identify the source of the lead poisoning.
  • If the first blood test is 14.5 mcg/dL or higher, then a PHN and REHS will visit the family as soon as possible.
  • Lead poisoning information is provided to parents when the child’s level of lead in the blood tests in the 4.5 mcg/dL to 9.4 mcg/dL range.

Outreach and Education to the Community and Targeted Groups

The CLPP program focuses on provider education and screening requirements. The program can provide a variety of educational and informational information to health care providers, contractors, and the general public.