Welcome to the St. Lawrence County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program! Here, you will find information about lead poisoning and the services available through the St. Lawrence County Department of Public Health and our community partners to eliminate lead poisoning.
Lead Poisoning Prevention - What’s New!
The HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) Lead Hazard Control Grant
The North Country Housing Council, in conjunction with the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and Planning Office, can help eligible renters or homeowners make their homes safer through grant funding awarded to St. Lawrence County through the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes. Home improvements include, but are not limited to painting, enclosure, removal, and replacement of surfaces containing lead paint hazards.
To be eligible, units must house a child under age six or a pregnant woman, or be a place children regularly spend time, such as grandparents or child care proviers.
For more information, please contact the North Country Housing Council at 315-386-8576.
Free Lead Testing Program
The Free Lead Testing Pilot Program (FLTPP) will provide NYS residents who are served by either a private well or public water system with an opportunity to have their residential drinking water tested for free! Visit the New York State Department of Health website for more information.
Lead Poisoning Prevention in St. Lawrence County
Despite significant progress, childhood lead poisoning remains a serious problem in St. Lawrence County and throughout New York State. Seventy-three percent (73%) of the County’s housing stock was built in 1979 or before and poses a lead hazard risk to occupants and frequent visitors; 3,930 (13%) of these units house children who are six years old or younger.
Therefore, the St. Lawrence County Department of Public Health manages the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program charged with the responsibility of case managing lead poisoned children in St. Lawrence County. The program conducts investigations and provides information to the parents of children under the age of 18 that have tested positive for elevated blood lead levels.
Lead and Lead Poisoning
Lead is an element found naturally in the earth’s crust that has been mined and used by people for thousands of years. It is useful in manufacturing, surface coatings and glazes, automobile batteries, and a variety of industrial processes. Up until 1978, lead was used in many house paints. Even today, deteriorating lead-based paint in homes can lead to high (and unsafe) concentrations of lead in house dust.
Like iron, calcium and magnesium, lead is a metal. However, unlike those minerals, which are needed by the human body, lead is a poison – even in very small amounts. It can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death. Young children, when exposed to high levels of lead in house dust, are particularly vulnerable. Since there is NO medical treatment to permanently reverse the adverse health effects of lead exposure in children, it is critical to focus on prevention. If you live in pre 1978 housing, it is important to safeguard the children in your home or apartment from suffering the damaging effects of lead poisoning, by keeping the home clean and keeping painted surfaces intact.
For more information on how you can protect your family, please contact the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 315-229-3433 or email us with our form. You can also visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website or call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).
Home Renovation, Repair and Painting
RENOVATE RIGHT! Always work safely around lead!
If you are performing any renovations or repairs on your pre 1978 house or plan on hiring a contractor, then you need to work lead safe!
- Doing the work yourself? Learn lead safe work practices!
Learn how to use Lead Safe Work Practices when remodeling, repairing or painting your home. Every year hundreds of children are diagnosed with lead poisoning due to exposure of lead hazards during home repairs and renovations.
- Hiring a Contractor?
Make sure they are certified in RRP! Contractors who perform renovation, repairs, and painting in pre 1978 housing need to have this certification and must take special precautions around paint that may contain lead. Be sure to ask your contractor about their certification(s). Under strict EPA rules that took effect on April 22, 2010, special certification is required for all home improvement activity in housing built before 1978 and in ANY child occupied facility. This rule, "Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP)" is intended to ensure that any activity that disturbs paint in older housing is performed using lead-safe work practices. For more information visit the EPA "RRP" website or call 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).
Lead Poisoning Prevention Starts at Home!
How are children poisoned by lead?
Children ingest or inhale lead or lead contaminated dust that is present in their environment. A very small amount of lead will poison a child. Be on the lookout for these common sources of lead in and around your home.
Additional information regarding sources of lead in your environment can be found on the New York State Department of Health website.
What can parents do to keep their children safe from lead?
Parents can take some simple precautions around the house to protect children from being exposed to lead. Lead dust is the most common source of lead poisoning. Frequent damp cleaning will help to keep children from being exposed. A healthy diet will help to keep lead from being absorbed into a child’s body.
Additional information regarding keeping children safe from lead:
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- New York State Department of Health
Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
St. Lawrence County Department of Public Health
80 State Highway 310, Suite 2
Canton, NY 13617
Area Served: St. Lawrence County, NY