Every year our Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program receives more than 65,000 blood lead test results from laboratories and providers for children across the state. Our epidemiologist reviews these results every day to make sure children with elevated blood lead levels will receive proper care. When a child is identified with elevated blood lead levels, the program will coordinate with health care providers and families to ensure that the child will receive follow up testing. Efforts are made to identify the source of the lead poisoning through phone interviews and home investigations. Paint, soil, dust, and other samples are collected to pinpoint the source.

This past July the program conducted a phone interview with parents for a one-year-old child with blood lead levels increasing significantly within two weeks. Through the phone interview, the team discovered that the family was cooking soups in a clay pot. A home visit was scheduled to investigate if the clay pot may contain lead glaze. During the investigation, the investigator confirmed that the clay pot contained lead glaze and the pottery was exchanged for a stainless steel pot provided by the program.

This effectively eliminated the source of lead contributing to the child’s elevated blood lead levels; the child’s blood lead level dropped to a safe level within three months. Lead-glazed pottery is not an uncommon source of lead in Arizona. For more information about lead-glazed pottery and other sources of lead, visit our Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program online.