Chaffee County Public Health announced it now offers blood lead testing for children.

Lead poisoning is the No. 1 preventable environmental health threat to children, according to a Public Health press release.

Based on Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data from 2009-2016, about one in 30 children who receive blood lead testing have elevated blood lead levels. Those children have a higher risk for developing intellectual, behavioral and academic deficits caused by lead poisoning, health officials said.

The primary source of lead exposure in Colorado is inside the home. Common sources of lead in the home are lead-based paint, dust, soil and water.

The only way to know if a child has been exposed to lead is through a blood test. Colorado guidelines recommend that children on Medicaid or CHP+ get tested at ages 12 and 24 months. Other high-risk children include those who:

• Live in or regularly visit a house built before 1950, including a child care center.

• Live in or regularly visit a house built before 1978 that is under remodel or in poor condition.

• Have a sibling or playmate with elevated blood lead.

• Live with an adult whose job or hobby involves lead (mining, smelting, automobile repair, construction, plumbing, hunting with lead bullets or fishing).

• Live near a smelter, battery recycling plant or other lead-releasing industry.

• Have been to Mexico, Central America or South America in the last year.

• Have been given home remedies such as Azarcon, Alacron, Greta, Rueda, Pay-loo-Ah.

• Eat or drink from imported pottery or ceramic cookware.

• Eat foods containing spices imported from other countries, or imported candies.

Public Health recommends that parents talk with their doctor about having their child’s blood tested or contact registered nurse Emily Anderson at 719-530-2566 to schedule an appointment with Public Health.

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