Lead Poisoning Prevention

What is Lea​​​d Poisoning?

Lead poisoning affects many children younger than 6 y​ears old in Maryland. Lead can harm a child’s brain, causing lifelong learning and behavior problems.          

Lead dust in the home is caused by chipping, peeling, flaking or deteriorating lead-based paint and can be found in any home.  Lead can also be found in toys, jewelry, and other consumer products and may be brought home from some jobs. For more information on how to protect your family from lead, visit http://www2.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family#sl-home​.

Lead poisoning has decreased over the years, but there is no safe level of lead.  The only way to know if a child has been exposed is a blood test.

Cover page to blood lead testing evaluation and recommendations report

Childhood Blood Lead Testing in Maryland: Evaluation and Recommendations​ (Dec. 2022)​

This report reviews Maryland’s recent experience in universal childhood blood lead testing and presents recommendations for future childhood blood lead testing policies. It evaluates the impacts of policy decisions in 2015 and 2016 aimed at improving lead testing rates statewide, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on lead testing rates, and national changes in the blood lead reference value in 2021.



Housing and Lead, a StoryMap examining redlining, housing discrimination, and environmental health disparities in Baltimore, MD

The Maryland Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (MD​ EPHT) has partnered with the Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) to analyze and report lead data as observed through Baltimore, MD’s long history with lead exposure and poisoning. This StoryMap unpacks how racism, housing, and lead exposure ​contribute to the persistent observed environmental health disparities​​.​​ ​​​


What is New i​​​​n Lead Poisoning Prevention in Maryland?​

On October 28, 2022​, Maryland Department of the Environment will start to notify parents when their child has had a blood lead level at or above the CDC's blood lead reference value of 3.5 mcg/dL, as well as rental property owners for properties covered under the law (House Bill 1110, Chapter 86, Acts of 2022).  ​​

On January 25, 2022, Maryland Department of Health advised health care providers​​​ they should follow up on children with a Blood Lead Reference Value of 3.5 mcg/dl, as recommended by the CDC.  

The Maryland Department of the Environment has new regulations for blood lead reporting and apartment owners.* 

New Home Visiting and Lead Abatement Programs for Families

Maryland has two new programs for families with a child exposed to lead:

The Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids Program removes lead hazards from the home at no cost.

The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Environmental Case Management Program provides in-home  services to reduce exposures to lead and to asthma triggers.

Learn more about these programs, including eligibility criteria and availability in your jurisdiction.

Program 1_Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids_3.5.21_final_Page_1.pngP2 UPDATED Healthy Homes Flyer _3.5.21_final.png

​Universal Testing fo​​r Childre​​​n at 12 and 24 months

​Sinc​​​e 2016, all parts of Maryland are 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​​​

Information for​​ Parents and Caregivers

COVID-19 and lead testing -- letter to parents from MDH, MDE, Lead Poisoning Prevention Commission

To see if products in your home contain lead, visit http://www.cpsc.gov​​​/

Learn more​ about lead abatement and home-visiting programs available to families with a child who was exposed to lead.

A healthy diet is important in preventing childhood lead poisoning. Learn more​ (EPA)

New! What is needed to enroll a child in child care, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or first grade:  Maryland Blood Lead Testing Certificate (Form 4620). A non-fillable PDF version of the form is available here​.

Informatio​​n for Health Care Providers

January 25, 2022 ​Guidance for Providers Regarding New CDC Blood Lead Reference Level and Other Matters Pertaining to Lead Testing for Children  

March 2, 2021 Notice to Maryland Health Care Providders of Changes to Blood Lead Level Testing and Reporting Requirements, and New Resources for Providers and Parents

June 7, 2012 Health Care Provider Letter Adopting a Revised Maryland Department of Health Guidelines for Clincal Assessment and Management of Childhood Blood Lead Levels

Regulations for Childhood Lead Testing (COMAR 10.11.04)

New! MDH Form 4620 Blood Lead Testing Certificate for Schools, Child Care ​A non-fillable PDF version of the form is available here.

2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Updated Lead Testing Guidance 

2020 Updated Guidelines for Assessment and Management of Childhood Lead Exposure 

2016 Guidelines for Assessment and Management of Childhood Lead Exposure

Final Report on Blood Lead Point of Care Testing (2014)​

For additional medical resources, contact:

​Information for Child Care Providers and Schools

New! MDH Form 4620 Blood Lead Testing Certificate for Schools, Child Care ​A non-fillable PDF version of the form is available here.​

​Testing for Lead in Drinking Water in Schools​

​Interactive Maps and Data

 Visit the Maryland Environmental Public Health Tracking portal for data and maps on lead poisoning. 


For more information, call the Environmental Health Helpline: 1-866-703-3266

​​News & U​​pdates

MDH has updated the Childhood Lead Testing Certificate (MDH 4620). Download the standard or fillable version (PDF).

MDH released the Childhood Blood Lead Testing in Maryland: Evaluation and Recommendations. Read the report.

MDH and the Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health developed a StoryMap about Housing and Lead in Baltimore, MD.

FDA expands recall of blood lead test kits from Magellan Diagnostics due to risk of possible falsely low blood lead test results​

Maryland has two programs to support families with a child who was exposed to lead, including ​removing the lead from the home and providing in-home visits and support. Click here to learn more!​​