Emerging Sources of Lead Exposure for MCH Populations
August 2018

Kate Taft, MPH
Associate Director, Child and Adolescent Health
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs

Childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children, yet at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. By far, the main source of lead exposure for children is deteriorated lead-based paint in homes.

There are, however, other emerging sources of lead exposure for children. States participating in the Maternal & Child Environmental Health Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (MCEH CoIIN) were asked to share some of the emerging sources for lead exposure MCH populations in their state. These emerging sources include lead: brought into the home from occupational exposures; in water from lead pipes; in soil; in household items (mini-blinds, older glazed bathtubs); associated with parents’ hobbies (e.g., fishing weights, gun pellets.); and from imported cosmetics, spices, remedies, or medicines.

State and community efforts to reduce lead exposure in maternal and child health populations requires a comprehensive, coordinated approach. Through the MCEH CoIIN, AMCHP and partners will be working with 10 multi-disciplinary state teams to increase in the number of infants and children who have access to a system of coordinated care to address needs stemming from lead exposure. These state teams will use quality improvement, collaborative learning, and collective impact strategies to reduce MCH lead exposure from major and emerging sources, as well as address the needs of MCH populations who are exposed to or at-risk for exposure to lead. Learn more.