Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

The Pasadena Public Health Department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program seeks to protect children from lead exposure in four important ways: by screening for lead, managing treatment, educating parents and organizing and investigating possible lead exposure in the Pasadena community.


Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention
1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103 Map »

626-744-6117 (Tel) | 626-744-6115 (Fax)

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Lead can be found in jewelry, toys, and even food. Click here to view recent product recalls due to high lead levels.

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Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Background

Lead poisoning during childhood is a major but preventable environmental health problem in Pasadena. Lead can harm a child’s brain, making it hard for a child to learn, pay attention and behave.  Lead can enter a child’s body through ingestion and skin contact with items containing lead. It will remain in the blood without treatment.

A very small amount of lead can lead to poisoning–just enough lead to equal one granule of sugar each day over a period of time will raise a child’s blood lead level enough to require treatment.  A child with lead poisoning may not seem sick, but some children may have stomach problems, trouble sleeping, less energy than normal or may have problems concentrating.

Lead can be found in many places inside and outside your home, such as

  • Lead-based paint (pre-1978)
  • Lead-contaminated soil, especially near busy roadways or factories
  • Lead-contaminated dust from paint or soil
  • Take-home exposure in dust from work or certain hobbies
  • Some imported food in cans
  • Imported home remedies (azarcon, greta, or pay-loo-ah)
  • Some toys
  • Imported traditional makeup (kohl, surma, or sindoor)
  • Metal jewelry
  • Imported or handmade pottery and tableware (dishes and pots)
  • Imported candies and ethnic foods and brightly-colored spices from outside the USA

The Pasadena Public Health Department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program seeks to protect children from lead exposure.

Occupations related to lead exposure

Some jobs may create lead dust or fumes that are not seen, but can be brought home. The lead dust can get on your hands, face, clothes and shoes, and then get in your car and on furniture and carpets. A young child can then eat these small particles and become sick. Know your risk and prevention methods by reviewing this brochure.

Don’t take lead home PDF


If a child’s healthcare provider informs the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) that the child’s blood lead level is elevated, a home investigation to find the source of lead may be initiated to prevent further exposure.

If you are a resident of Pasadena and you are concerned about lead exposure from renovation, repair or painting of your home or a neighbor’s home, please call the Pasadena Public Health Department at (626) 744-6004. An Environmental Health Specialist may be assigned to discuss your concerns.

Home Renovations

Are you thinking of fixing up your older home? Homes built before 1978 may have lead in the paint. Do not scrape or sand paint on your home unless you know it does not have lead in it. Scraping and sanding old paint can create dangerous lead dust. You and your family can swallow or breathe in lead dust. Have your paint tested for lead. Keep your family safe from lead and hire a CA state lead professional.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (EPA RRP Rule) aims to protect lead-based paint hazards associated with renovation, repair and painting activities. These activities can create hazardous lead dust when the surfaces with lead paint are disturbed. This rule requires workers to be certified and trained in the use of lead-safe work practices, and requires renovation, repair, and painting firms to be EPA-certified.

For more information on the EPA RRP Rule, visit

For more information about your local household hazardous waste program visit:

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

Prevention Tips

There is no safe blood lead level in children that has been identified. Lead can hurt your child. Lead poisoning can make it hard for children to learn, pay attention, and behave. Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. Lead poisoning is preventable. There are many ways parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead.

Lead Poisoning Prevention Infographic

Lead Poisoning Prevention Infographic

Lead Poisoning Prevention Infographic

  • Do not let your child chew on painted surfaces or eat paint chips.
  • Wash your child’s hands and toys often.
  • Talk to your child’s doctor about testing for lead. The only way to know if your child has lead in his or her body is for your child to get blood test for lead. Most children get tested at 1 and 2 years old.
  • Keep your home clean and dust-free.
  • Keep furniture away from paint that is chipped or peeling.
  • Never sand, dry scrap, power wash or sandblast paint. There may also be lead in the dirt around your home from the past.

Some candies from Mexico, China, and other places outside the U.S have lead in them.

Community Engagement

Child Eating Apple at Desk 200x275 imageCommunity Education and Meetings

The Child Lead Poisoning Prevention Program educates organizations, parent groups and caregivers about how to prevent lead poisoning at home, at school or daycare and anywhere else children frequent.  To request a presentation or education session, please call (626) 744-6117.

We also hold quarterly meetings with our community partners to share new information and network. If you would like more information about our next collaborative meeting please call (626) 744-6117.

Case Management

A public health nurse may be assigned to the child and his or her family when elevated blood lead levels are detected to help manage the child’s treatment and care. Clients with elevated blood lead levels will be referred to their medical provider for medical management. If the child does not have a regular medical provider, the nurse will refer the family to a medical provider.

Brochures and Flyers

For Providers

Children Being Examined by Doctor 200x275 imageThe Pasadena Public Health Department recommends that all children get blood lead level screenings, and requires all of its clinics in the service area to conduct screenings to detect and prevent lead exposure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that lead screening should begin at 9 to 12 months of age and be considered again at approximately 24 months of age when blood lead levels peak

For more information about lead screening recommendations, please visit the California Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch.


Lead Testing

Case Management

Product Recalls

For more information about recent recalls due to Lead standard violations please visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Recent product recalls due to Violation of Lead Standard

Castor Oil Hemorrhoid Extract (Cao Bôi Trĩ Cây Thầu Dầu) 4/09/2024

• April 10, 2024

In March 2024, a woman in Sacramento developed severe lead...

Certain Cinnamon Products 03/06/2024

• March 7, 2024

FDA has determined that certain ground cinnamon products contain elevated...

Sandford Family Croquet Sets 2/29/2024

• February 29, 2024

Sandford Family Croquet sets recalled due to violations of the...

H&M Men's Clasp Beaded Bracelets 9/21/2023

• November 20, 2023

H&M recalls Men's Clasp Beaded Bracelets due to lead poisoning...

LAOION Stainless Steel Children's Cups 11/16/2023

• November 20, 2023

LAOION recalls Stainless Steel Children's Cups due to lead poisoning...

Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches 11/16/2023

• November 20, 2023

The following cinnamon applesauce pouches have been recalled due to...

Soojimus CUPKIN Stainless Steel Children's Cups 7/20/2023

• July 31, 2023

Soojimus recalls CUPKIN Stainless Steel Children's Cups for containing levels...

CultureFly L.O.L. Surprise! Trick or Treat Subscription Boxes Sold with Metal Doll Pins 5/04/2023

• May 30, 2023

CultureFly recalls L.O.L. Surprise! Trick or Treat subscription boxes sold...

Bunch Bikes The Preschool Electric Bicycles 5/24/2023

• May 30, 2023

Bunch Bikes recalls The Preschool Electric Bicycles due to federal...

Del Maguey Company's Ceramicware Cups/Copitas 5/1/2023

• May 3, 2023

Del Maguey Co. recalls ceramicware cups called "copitas" because they...