Even though it has been more than 40 years since the federal government banned the manufacturing of lead-based paint and even longer since the U.S. moved away from gasoline containing lead, exposure to this toxic metal remains a danger to Arizonans, especially children.

Looking toward Lead Poisoning Prevention Week from Oct. 24-30, the Arizona Department of Health Services is reminding parents that all children should be evaluated for risk of lead exposure at 12 months and 24 months of age. Children living in high-risk neighborhoods should receive a blood lead test by their healthcare provider. Families and pediatricians can use our lead risk map to determine if a child lives in one of those high-risk areas.


The health impacts of exposure to lead can be serious for anyone, but they are most concerning in children. Exposure to lead can result in behavioral and learning problems, lower IQ, slowed growth hearing problems, and anemia. Pregnant women can also pass along lead to their child, causing similar concerns.

Anyone can be exposed to lead from such sources as dust, old paint, soil, dishes that contain lead, and even dust from renovating older buildings.

The challenges are seen all across Arizona. In 2019, only Greenlee County, Arizona’s smallest, had no cases of children younger than 6 testing positive for lead exposure. Maricopa (162), Pima (55), Cochise (15) and Coconino counties had the most cases.

The highest percentage of cases was found in Apache County (3.1%), while Gila, Graham, and LaPaz counties each had more than 1% of children test positive. The most common age was just 1-year-old, accounting for 37.9% of all cases.

What can parents do? Most importantly, have your child tested by their doctor at 12 and 24 months. A blood test is the only way to know if a child has been exposed. 

Keeping play areas clean and dust free, and washing your child’s hands as well as toys, bottlesc, and pacifiers often will help reduce exposure in your home

More information on reducing lead-related risks are available on our site. 

Still have questions? Please email us at [email protected].