Indiana Dept. of Health urges parents to have children tested for lead under new law

Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 7:44 PM EST
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INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - The Indiana Department of Health is encouraging parents with young children, to get them tested for lead in the new year.

This comes as House Enrolled Act 1313 takes effect on Sunday, Jan. 1. The new law requires all healthcare providers to offer lead testing to younger patients. Ideally, children would be tested at their one and two-year checkups. Testing will also be offered to any child under 6 who has not been tested before.

Previously, only Indiana children covered by Medicaid were required to be tested for lead at ages 12 and 24 months.

Lead exposure can damage the brain and nervous system, causing slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, issues with hearing and speech, impulsivity, nausea and other debilitating effects.  It is more toxic to unborn and younger children but can negatively impact adults as well. Early intervention, including proper nutrition and removal of sources of lead exposure, can lower lead levels in individuals.

Most lead poisoning in Indiana stems from chipping or peeling lead paint that mixes with dust in the air. Other common sources of lead are contaminated soil, drinking water and, occasionally, children’s toys and jewelry.

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