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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: March 8, 2012


On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, the Delaware Division of Public Health's (DPH) Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention program successfully offered free blood lead testing to up to 75 children enrolled in Telamon Corporation's "Head Start" day care programs in Dover and Georgetown.

Delaware requires all children to be tested at 12 months of age to prevent health effects from exposure to lead during early development. Lead poisoning can cause permanent, irreversible harm to a child, including brain damage, hearing problems, kidney damage, and even stunted growth. In most cases, lead poisoning has no symptoms.

While lead paint has not been used in homes since 1978, nearly 50 percent of the homes in Delaware were built prior to 1979. And some of the most common exposures today have little to do with paint. Exposures can also come from take-home dust from parent's work, toys and other improperly manufactured products and exposure via activities such as hunting and fishing.

"Parents must be aware that lead poisoning may show no symptoms," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "Testing is vital before irreversible damage is done. DPH is so pleased to work with its community partners to reduce the impact of lead on Delaware's children."

If your organization is interested in hosting a lead-testing day, call 302-283-7300. For more information on lead poisoning, call 211 or visit: To lower your child's risk of getting lead poisoning, the Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program reminds Delaware residents to take these steps to protect their children:

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.