Is your home poisoning your child?

Children and pregnant women living in older homes with chipping, flaking, and peeling paint are at the greatest risk for lead poisoning. Yates County Public Health works to protect children from lead poisoning by:

  • Providing blood lead screening tests.
  • ​​Following up with families whose children need testing.
  • Providing case management for children with lead poisoning.
  • Providing free lead poisoning prevention education for pregnant women, families, renters, and home owners.

Lead poisoning is preventable. Parents, tenants, landlords/homeowners, and contractors all have a role in making our community lead safe. Parents can protect their child with a healthy diet and a lead safe environment. Click to download a childhood lead poisoning prevention brochure English or Spanish.

The ingestion of lead contaminated dust, paint, and soil is the primary cause of childhood lead poisoning. Lead can also be found in lead glazed or painted pottery, ammunition, fishing sinkers, stained glass solder, batteries, and imported foods, candy, clothing and toys.

Pregnant women
It is very important to protect yourself and your baby from lead during prengnacy. To learn what health problems lead poisoing can cause and how to protect yourself, click here.

New York State requires doctors to test all children for lead poisoning at ages 1 and 2. Only a blood test can tell how much lead is in a child’s body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determines acceptable blood lead levels in children.  Lead poisoning has no initial symptoms but can lead to decreased IQ, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and low iron.

Children between the ages of 9 months and 6 years of age are at greatest risk of exposure to lead because they are apt to put fingers, hands, and toys in their mouths. Small children are eye level with window sills where lead paint could be. They are at risk for poisoning if they chew on these areas or inhale lead-tainted dust created when windows are opened and closed. Children whose families are in the process of remodeling homes built or painted prior to 1978, are also at increased risk for exposure to lead.  Learn more about how to protect your child from lead poisoning and how a healthy diet can protect your child.

To find out if your child needs a lead test, Yates residents can call (315) 536-5160. Public Health offers lead screening tests for children birth through six years of age by appointment. Lead testing is done by a fingerstick and screening results are available to the parent in three minutes. Charges are determined by a sliding fee scale based on your familiy income and size or can be billed to some health insurance plans.

In response to an increased number of recalls for toys containing lead, New York State Department of Health has created a Lead Hazard Product Recall Page where you can find pictures and links to recent toy recalls for lead, as well as fact sheets for parents and health care providers. You can also see a list of lead recalls on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

As a renter you are entitled to safe and healthy housing. Landlords are required to give renters information on Tenant’s Rights. Landlords must give tenants information before doing renovations on rental property.

More information for tenants is available by visiting the links below:                           

The HUD/EPA disclosure rule requires you to give out the pamphlet: "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" to people before they rent or buy pre-1978 housing. Owners of rental housing must disclose information about lead paint hazards to potential renters before a lease is signed. Sellers must disclose information about any known lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards before selling a home.

Lead dust generated by traditional renovation work can cause lead poisoning in children, pregnant women, yourself, other workers, and even pets. There are simple, practical ways to reduce this risk.

Tips when working on an older home:

  • Work Smart…test work areas for lead paint before you renovate, repair or paint.
  • Work Wet…mist areas with water before sanding or scraping.
  • Work Clean…wet wipe or mop; use a HEPA vacuum to clean up paint chips and dust.

As of April 22, 2010 landlords paying someone to work on their rental property are responsible for following the new Environmental Protection Agency’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule. Homeowners working on their own property are strongly recommended to follow the EPA guidelines.

For more information on lead safe renovation go to:

Lead dust generated by traditional renovation work can cause lead poisoning in children, pregnant women, yourself, other workers and even pets. Practical changes in work practices can minimize and contain lead dust. The use of lead-safe work practices makes the job safer and reduces your liability.

The EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Final Rule addresses activities that disturb lead-based paint in “target housing” and “child-occupied facilities”. After April 22, 2010, firms working in pre-1978 homes and child-occupied facilities must be certified and use lead-safe work practices during renovations. The new rule requires that:

  • Renovators be certified through training by an accredited training provider firms be certified
  • Lead-safe work practices be used during renovations.
  • Tenants are provided with pre-renovation education in target housing and child-occupied facilities.

For more information on how the EPA's RRP Final Rule affects contractors, go to the EPA's website,www.epa.gov.

Check Out These Great Resources!

Click Here for a list of Local Supply Stores who have
Lead Safe Renovation Information & Supplies

Finger Lakes Occupational Health Services

Are you exposed to lead on the job and concerned   about your health? Contact Finger Lakes Health Occupational Services at 585-244-4771 or visit their website.


The Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center

The Western New York Lead Poisoning Resource Center  is located in Rochester and serves 9 counties including Yates. They provide support to medical providers, local health departments, and provide lead poisoning prevention information to the public.


Tips You Can Take To Prevent Lead Poisoning

  1. Keep children away from peeling paint & broken plaster.
  2. Damp mop floors, furniture, and window sills when cleaning.
  3. Wash your child's hands, pacifiers, and toys often & always before meals, snacks and sleeping.
  4. Fix healthy meals high in calcium, iron and vitamin c.
  5. Store food from open cans in glass or plastic containers.
  6. Let cold tap water run for at least a minute before using to flush lead that may have been picked up from the pipes.



417 Liberty St Suite 2120
Penn Yan, NY 14527
Phone: 315-536-5160 or 866-212-5160
Fax: 315-536-5146

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