Get smart to get the lead out

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What should I know about my lead in my child’s blood?

A: The CDC’s lead poisoning guidelines have recently changed. Learn more about the updated lead reference value.

 Q: How to protect my child from lead poisoning?

A: Review these 10 ways to protect your child from lead poisoning in English, Bhutanese, Nepalese, Spanish, Arabic, Dari and Pashto.

Q: How and when do I get my child tested for lead poisoning?

A: Consult with your child’s pediatrician. The Allegheny County Health Department requires testing for lead exposure for all children at 9-12 months of age, and again at 24 months. If a child is older than 24 months, testing may be done as soon as possible after 24 months but before 72 months of age or entry into kindergarten, whichever is sooner.

Q: I believe my child may suffer from lead poisoning. Where can we get help?

A: A confirmed blood lead level of less than 5 micrograms/deciliter gets any child between 0-3 years old access to Early Intervention services and entitles the family to Allegheny County Health Department’s Lead Home Investigations program for a full risk assessment to identify source(s) of lead exposure and receive best practices to minimize risk.

If your child is between 0-3, contact the Alliance for Infants & Toddlers by calling 412-885-6000 for more information. If your child is 3-5 years old, contact the Allegheny Intermediate Unit – DART program by calling 412-394-5904.

Q: I am unsure if my home has lead hazards. Where can I get an evaluation?

A: The Allegheny Lead Safe Homes Program provides free Lead Risk Assessments, education, and up to $12,000 of interim controls and lead abatement services. Eligible families must: be homeowners or renters in Allegheny County, live in a home built before 1978, have a child under 6 who lives in or regularly visits the home OR a pregnant woman who lives in the home, and meet income limits.

If you’re interested in participating, please call ACTION-Housing at 412-227-5700, email, or fill out the online form.

For general program questions, please call Jennifer Saks at 412-350-1032 or email her at

Q: I found lead hazards in my home. Who can fix this?

A: Allegheny County Health Department’s Lead Safe Homes program provides offers qualifying homeowners and renters in Allegheny County free home lead-paint testing and hires a certified lead abatement contractor to stabilize or eliminate lead-paint. Visit their website to learn more.

Q: How do I know if my child’s toys are safe?

A: Women for a Healthy Environment offers free XRF (X-ray fluorescence) testing of household/personal items such as toys, dishware or jewelry. Items can be brought to their office at 401 North Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm or staff can meet residents off-site by appointment. Contact Hanna Beightley, Healthy Homes Coordinator, at 412-404-2872 or to schedule a testing or with any general lead inquiries.

Q: How do I know if my child’s school, child care center and after-school programs are safe?

A: Children spend 1000 hours a year in school and child care. Visit to learn more about the effects of lead in schools and child care centers.


Q: I am looking to buy a home. How can I ensure it is lead-safe?

A: Currently, there is no lead hazard housing registry for Allegheny County. Home sellers are not required to test for lead, but home buyers can request lead testing as part of inspections. To have your home properly inspected before moving in, visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for certified firms.

Q: How can I get my water tested?

A: Water testing can be done through Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) if you are a City of Pittsburgh resident. Request your free testing kit here.

Q: Where can I get my soil tested?

A: Allegheny County Conservation District holds free soil testing events in various communities. Visit their website for upcoming events.

Q: My landlord isn’t doing anything about the lead in my rental. Who can help?

A: There are several resources for rental help


Q: How can I help prevent lead poisoning in my work?

A: Always follow the EPA’s lead-safe work practices when doing any renovation or repair work that may disturb any dust, plaster or painted surface.

Q: Where can I learn more about lead-safe demolition?

A: Watch our video to learn about lead-safe demolition.

Q: Where can I sign up for lead-safe contractor training?

A: Learn more and stay up to date with the EPA’s courses and recommendations.