Bureau of Environmental Health Services - Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

981 children had a confirmed elevated blood lead level in Iowa during 2019

Although preventable, lead poisoning remains a significant health concern for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no safe level of lead in a child's blood. Elevated levels can harm a child’s central nervous system and are associated with reduced IQ, behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The Iowa Department of Health and Human Service (Iowa HHS) leads efforts in Iowa to prevent lead poisoning in children below the age of 6 through the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP).

Click on one of the content boxes below to access information for Parents & Guardians; Providers, Labs, and Schools; Local County Programs; or Property Owners.

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The CLPPP works to reduce the number of children exposed to lead in Iowa through the following activities:

  • Educating parents, providers and communities about the risk of lead poisoning in children and how it can be prevented
  • Identifying children with elevated blood lead levels (EBLs)
  • Linking the family to services that can help reduce additional lead exposure
  • Providing supportive care through case management
  • Identifying lead hazards and providing guidance to eliminate or control any hazards found
  • Monitoring blood lead levels of children over time to determine prevention and intervention methods
  • Referring families for additional services when needed

State and local funds are used to carry out the program statewide through a combination of direct services, and contracts and technical assistance through various community partners, including local health departments, Title V child health clinics, health care providers, area education agencies and housing agencies.

All blood lead tests are required to be reported to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services to monitor lead exposure for all Iowans. For more information, contact us at 1-800-972-2026 or online at Contact Us.

NEW - Iowa HHS updates blood lead testing guidelines and screening tool (10/20/21)

In partnership with the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy and the Childhood Lead Advisory Workgroup (CLAW), Iowa HHS has revised its Childhood Lead Poisoning Risk Questionnaire tool and Blood Lead Testing Guidelines.  The CLAW is a statewide working group of pediatricians, nurses, public health professionals, housing officials, elected officials, and more that provide input and direction to Iowa HHS on policy and programs related to childhood lead issues.

In recent years Iowa HHS has seen a decline in the rate of testing children for lead, especially amongst children under three years in age.  Only 68% of one-year olds and 38% of two-year olds were tested for lead in 2019, below the 75% testing goal established by Iowa HHS for children one and two-years in age.  Medicaid requires a blood lead test for all Medicaid-enrolled and eligible children one and two-years in age, while the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend testing for all children at 12 months and 24 months. Updates were made by the CLAW to help increase testing rates for children under 3 years in age, especially children in high-risk areas due to age of housing and other risk factors associated with lead exposures in Iowa.

Who should use the updated screening tool and follow blood lead testing guidelines?

Iowa HHS recommends all medical providers, pediatricians, and public health professionals conducting blood lead screening and testing on children under 6 years in age begin using the updated screening tool and implementing the new blood lead testing guidelines within their practices.  A YouTube video was produced to explain the updates and provide guidance on using the questionnaire and blood lead testing guidelines.  Download copies of the updated materials in English, Spanish, French, Swahili, Arabic, and Laotian from the Providers, Labs and Schools page.

Magellan LeadCare Recall Updates

Visit the Providers, Labs, and Schools page for details on CDC's announcement and information regarding FDA's Class I recall of Magellan LeadCare blood lead test kits following the 2021 announcement.