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Lead and Its Health Effects

To address lead-based paint hazards effectively, it is important to understand how lead-based paint can poison children, residents, and workers.

The higher the concentration of lead in a person's blood, the greater its toxicity and health effects. The Lead Safe Housing Rule uses the term "Environmental Intervention Blood Lead Level" (EIBLL) to specify the level of lead in blood that requires intervention for a child under six years of age. EIBLL is defined as:

  • A blood lead level of 20 µg/dl (micrograms per deciliter) of whole blood or above for a single test or
  • Blood lead levels of 15-19 µg/dl in two tests taken at least three months apart

After completing this topic, you will be able to:

  • Describe how lead poisoning occurs, who is at risk, and the effects of lead poisoning.
  • Define lead hazards and lead-based paint.

This topic will cover the following subjects:

In order to provide an overview of lead and its health effects, this topic answers four common questions about lead-based paint and its health impacts.