Lead Poisoning Information

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Community Lead Awareness Sessions in New Orleans
July 12-14, 2023

Para información en español sobre Conciencia comunitaria sobre el plomo visite: espanol.epa.gov/plomo/conciencia-comunitaria-sobre-el-plomo.

EPA is partnering with communities across the country to host a series of free educational sessions on the dangers of lead and how to reduce and prevent lead exposure. These sessions are based on the Lead Awareness Curriculum, and will be held in English and Spanish.

Lower IQ, slowed or stunted growth, and hearing problems are just some of the long-lasting health effects caused by even low levels of lead in children. The good news is that there are many actions you can take to reduce and prevent potential lead exposure.

EPA’s upcoming lead awareness sessions will provide:

  • Important information about lead exposure and its impacts on health;
  • Specific actions to protect children and communities from lead exposure;
  • Practical resources in English and Spanish; and
  • Opportunity to network with other community leaders and members with shared interests.

Everyone is Welcome!

If you are a community member interested in learning more about lead, join EPA for an Understanding Lead session to learn about lead, its impacts, and actions to reduce and prevent potential lead exposure.

Community leaders who have experience educating and training members of their communities and would like to educate others about lead, join EPA for a Lead Awareness Curriculum Train-the-Trainer session. This includes community health workers, environmental staff, faith-based leaders, tribal leaders and representatives, social workers, and anyone else interested in educating others about lead. Participants will learn how to use and modify the Lead Awareness Curriculum to educate their communities about lead, lead exposure, and actions to reduce and prevent childhood lead exposure. Attendees will receive a digital certificate of participation after completing the session. Prior knowledge of lead or lead exposure is not needed to use the curriculum.

New Orleans Dates, Locations & Registration Links

Train the Trainer Sessions

Community Sessions

Free childcare (ages 12 and under) is available for the community sessions. Please email pheeh@nola.gov to let us know how many kids are coming!

What is lead?

Lead is a metal commonly found in the environment. In the past, lead was used in many household items and commonly used in products such as: paint, plumbing, and gasoline. Even though some products have been banned for use, there may still be lead traces in the soil from gasoline, in the water from lead plumbing, or in your home from paint products.

Who can get lead poisoning?

While anyone is at risk of lead poisoning, the most vulnerable are children under the age of 6 years old and pregnant women.

What health problems are associated?

Lead poisoning has been shown to cause early birth, stunted growth, learning delays, and behavioral problems. Very high levels of lead can even cause death.

Click here to check out the CDC's full Lead Infographic, portions of which are below: CDC-Prevention.png

How are children exposed to lead?

Children can be exposed to lead by breathing in, eating, or drinking lead dust particles. This can come from:

  • Eating paint chips from houses built prior to 1978 (before lead-based paint was banned from use on homes).
  • Breathing in dust from nearby construction or home renovations.
  • Drinking water in homes with lead pipes or service lines.
  • Coming into contact with work clothes from adults who work in environments with high lead exposure, such as construction workers, painters, and mechanics.
  • Playing with toys that have high lead content or have collected lead dust from the house.
  • Eating lead-contaminated soil from playground areas.

What is an acceptable amount of lead?

A child’s blood lead level can be measured with a blood test. No amount of lead in the blood is considered safe, but the CDC has updated its blood lead reference value (BLRV) from 5 µg/dL to 3.5 µg/dL in response to the Lead Exposure Prevention and Advisory Committee (LEPAC) recommendation made on May 14, 2021. Shows that the child has been exposed to lead and requires case management. All children should be tested for lead exposure at 12 months and 24 months, or at ages 24–72 months if they have not previously been screened.

See below for our list of places to get your children tested.

Check out this Lead Poisoning Prevention video from the Louisiana Healthy Homes and Childhood Lead Prevention Program (LHHCLPPP):

Print out the EPA's Lead Poisoning Home Check List  to help you determine if your family is at risk of lead poisoning.

Tips for minimizing lead exposure

  • Get your water tested by calling 504-52-WATER (92837). Install a faucet water filter to remove lead. Filters not labeled as being designed to remove lead will not work. Look for the NSF mark to make sure that the filter you are buying is certified by NSF International. Click here for more information.
  • Test your home for lead-based paint and if necessary, have a certified lead expert remove the paint per EPA guidelines. Visit EPA.gov/lead to find a certified expert in your area.
  • Keep children and pregnant women away from areas with peeling paint and renovation work being done.
  • Dispose of toys and other items recalled for lead content (see CPSC.gov).
  • Keep children from playing in soil. Opt for sandboxes or grassy areas away from the sides of the house where chipped paint may fall.
  • Wash your children's hands and faces regularly, especially before eating.
  • Shower and change clothes before entering the home for those with jobs in construction, painting, or other fields that involve high lead exposure.
  • Wash toys and stuffed animals regularly.
  • Wet-mop floors and wet-wipe window sills and baseboards weekly.



Places to get tested

Children should be screened for lead exposure at 12 months and 24 months, or at ages 24–72 months if they have not previously been screened.

To ensure your child has been screened:

Click here for a printable brochure on Lead Poisoning with resources to help keep your family safe.

In addition, please click here for a printable Lead Safety fact sheet for workers.

For any questions please call 311 or contact the Health Department by email at healthdepartment@nola.gov.

For more information and resources








National Lead Hotline:

1 (800) 424-LEAD (5323)