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childhood lead poisoning prevention branch

Health Care Providers

Lead poisoning is one of the most common and preventable environmental diseases in California children. There are no known safe levels of lead in children. Preventing lead exposure is the best approach.

The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (CLPPB) depends on health care providers - doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants - to regularly assess and screen California’s children.​​

California Health Care Provider M​andates*

Anticipatory Guidance
Required for all children at each periodic assessment from 6 months to 6 years.
Health care providers are required to provide anticipatory guidance, informing parents and guardians about:
  • The risks and effects of childhood lead exposure.
  • The requirement that children in Medi-Cal should be blood lead tested.
  • The requirement that children not in Medi-Cal who are at high risk of lead exposure should also be blood lead tested.

(Blood lead test)

All children in publicly funded programs for low-income children such as
Medi-Cal; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and Child Health and Disability Prevention Program (CHDP) at both 12 months and 24 months of age, and order catch-up testing if missed at either 12 or 24 months.


If child is not in a publicly funded program for low-income children, at both 12 months and 24 months of age: Ask: “Does your child live in, or spend a lot of time in, a place built before 1978 that has peeling or chipped paint or that has been recently remodeled?”  

>> Blood lead test if the answer is “yes” or “don’t know.” <<

​* Read more about the California Standard of Care on Screening for Childhood Lead Poisoning, including additional information about catch-up testing requirements, as well as other indications for a blood lead test.

​* California Health and Safety Code, Sections 105275-105310

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