About CDC's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Doctor Examining Baby Girl with Mother

CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) is dedicated to eliminating childhood lead poisoning as a public health problem through strengthening blood lead testing, reporting, and surveillance, linking exposed children to recommended services, and targeted population-based interventions.

Since its inception in the early 1990s, CLPPP has

  • Funded more than 60 state and local childhood lead poisoning prevention programs to develop, implement, and evaluate local lead poisoning prevention activities
  • Provided technical assistance to support development of statewide lead screening plans
  • Developed and maintained the Childhood Blood Lead Surveillance System through which funded programs report data to CDC
  • Developed and maintained the Healthy Homes Lead Poisoning Surveillance Software platform used by state and local health departments for blood lead surveillance and case management activities
  • Trained more than 100 public health professionals a year through the CDC Lead Poisoning Prevention Training Center
  • Collaborated with federal, state, and local partners to develop outreach materials for National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, held the last week of October each year
  • Supported forming collaborative relationships between CDC’s funded partners and other lead poisoning prevention organizations and agencies (e.g., community-based, nonprofit, and housing groups)
  • Fostered agreements between state and local health departments and state Medicaid agencies to link surveillance and Medicaid data
  • Expanded public health laboratory capacity in states to analyze blood and environmental samples and to ensure quality, timely, and accurate analysis of results
  • Published targeted screening pdf icon[PDF – 1.11 MB] and case management guidelines that provide health departments and health care providers with standards to identify and manage children with elevated blood lead levels

In 2021, CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) commemorates 30 years of funding state and local childhood lead poisoning prevention programs to eliminate childhood lead poisoning as a public health problem.

Learn more about the history of major scientific and public health events in childhood lead poisoning prevention through CLPPP’s timeline.

Background

CDC’s program to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the U. S. was authorized under the Lead Contamination Control Act of 1988. pdf icon[PDF – 1.6 MB]external icon The program’s primary responsibilities are to

  • Develop programs and policies to prevent childhood lead poisoning
  • Educate the public and health care providers about childhood lead poisoning prevention
  • Support state and local health departments to
    • Determine the extent of childhood lead poisoning by screening children for elevated blood lead levels
    • Help ensure children with elevated blood lead levels receive appropriate medical and environmental follow-up
    • Develop population-based efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning
  • Conduct research to determine the effectiveness of prevention efforts at federal, state, and local levels
Future Directions

CDC participates on the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Childrenexternal iconexternal icon, which is the focal point for federal collaboration to promote and protect children’s environmental health. The Task Force’s Lead Exposures Subcommitteeexternal iconexternal icon has developed a Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts. pdf iconpdf icon[PDF – 8.6 MB]external iconexternal icon

The four goals of the Federal Lead Action Plan are to

  • Reduce Children’s Exposure to Lead Sources
  • Identify Lead-Exposed Children and Improve their Health Outcomes
  • Communicate More Effectively with Stakeholders
  • Support and Conduct Critical Research to Inform Efforts to Reduce Lead Exposures and Related Health Risks

This Action Plan will help federal agencies work strategically and collaboratively to reduce exposure to lead and improve children’s health along with a range of stakeholders including states, tribes and local communities, businesses, property owners, and parents.

CDC has also formed two advisory committees—the current Lead Exposure and Prevention Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention—and one subcommittee to provide CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with valuable scientific and technical advice related to the prevention of childhood lead poisoning.