What is new in Lead Poisoning prevention in Maryland?​

In ​March 2016, Maryland implemented the Lead-Free Maryland Kids campaign and the updated clinical requirements for blood lead testing of childrenThe entire state of Maryland is now considered "at risk" for lead exposure, for children born on or after 1/1/15.  As a result, all children born on or after 1/1/15 must be tested for lead at ages 12 and 24 months.  Children born before 1/1/15 should continue to be managed according to the 2004 Lead Targeting Plan (which defines specific areas of the State as "at risk")Read More​​​

What is Lead Poisoning?

Lead poisoning affects many children younger than 6 years old in Maryland. Lead is often a home health hazard that can harm a child’s brain, causing lifelong learning and behavior problems. The symptoms of lead poisoning are not always easy to detect, but its effects are long-lasting.           

Key Messages for Healthcare Providers and Families

*Lead is found in all areas of Maryland, from many different sources.*

*A blood lead test is the only sure way to know whether your child has been exposed to lead.*

*All Maryland children born on or after January 1, 2015 should have a blood lead test at 12 and 24 months of age.*​

Information for Health Care Providers

Maryland is now adopting the 2015 Targeting Plan in revised targeting plan in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updating its recommendations on children's blood lead levels in 2012 and in response to the changes in lead exposure in Maryland.       

Information for School Health Personnel

Parents or guardians enrolling a child in child care, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or elementary school need to provide lead test results, document that lead tests were not required, or claim a religious exemption.  The Maryland Blood Lead Testing Certificate (Form 4620) should be completed by a health care provider. 

Information for Parents and Caregivers

The most common sources of lead exposure are paint/lead dust from worn-out lead paint, soil, lead brought home from work (occupational lead), toys and jewelry, imported candies and food, and even water (due to leaded water pipes) and dishware. Although these are all possible sources, it is important to look at your child’s surroundings to see if these hazards could cause lead poisoning     

Information for Child Care Providers

More children in your care will need to have blood lead test certification in 2016.       
DHMH is working with the Maryland State Department of Education Office of Child Care to update any forms and prepare educational materials. Effective March 28, 2016, please use the revised DHMH form 4620.

Interactive Maps and Data

Strategy Projections              At-Risk Zip Codes


For more information, call the Environmental Health Helpline: 1-866-703-3266 or email dhmh.envhealth@maryland.gov