WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A press release from the Indiana Department of Health is urging parents to get their children tested for lead exposure due to upcoming legislation that will take place on Jan. 1, 2023. 

All healthcare providers that serve children are required by the House Enrolled Act 1313 to offer lead testing to patients, preferably at their 1 and 2-year checkups, or as close to those dates as possible. Healthcare providers are also advised to test any child under the age of 6 who has no previous history of lead testing. 

“There is no safe level of lead, and the sooner we can identify that a child is at risk, the earlier we can take steps to improve the health outcomes for that child,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “By having parents and providers understand the importance of asking for this simple blood test, we have an opportunity to protect hundreds of Indiana children each year from the harmful effects of lead.”

Lead exposure comes with a long list of significant and dangerous side effects. Exposure to lead can cause damage to the nervous system and the brain, it can cause slowed growth and development, learning and behavioral issues, impulsivity, nausea, and difficulty with hearing and speech. 

Lead is more toxic to younger children and children soon-to-be-born, but can still have negative impacts on adults. People can take precautions to lower their lead exposure through early intervention by removing any sources of lead and ensuring proper nutrition for themselves and their families. 

For the state of Indiana, most lead exposure and poisoning comes from peeling or chipping lead paint that then mixes with dust and can be inhaled. Some other common sources of lead exposure are contaminated soils and drinking water, and occasionally children’s jewelry and toys. 

For more information regarding the health and safety of your loved ones regarding lead poisoning and exposure, visit the Indiana Department of Health Website, the Indiana Department of Health Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter @StateHealthIN.