Lead Program

The Lead Program identifies primary sources of lead hazards in the community and promotes and provides screening of children six months to six years of age, education on reducing lead exposure, and counseling and environmental assessments for children who have elevated results.

Sources of Lead

Lead-based paint is a hazard if it is peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking. Even lead-based paint that appears to be undisturbed can be a problem if it is on surfaces that children chew or that get a lot of wear and tear. The older your home is, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint.

Contaminated dust forms when lead paint is dry-scraped or sanded. Dust can also become contaminated when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can gather on surfaces and objects that people touch or that children put into their mouths.

Contaminated Soil occurs when exterior lead-based paint from houses, buildings, or other structures flakes or peels and gets into the soil. Soil near roadways may also be contaminated from the past use of leaded gasoline in cars. Avoid these areas when planting vegetable gardens . It is also important to keep sand boxes covered.

Other sources of lead:

Contaminated drinking water from old plumbing fixtures


Imported lead-glazed pottery and leaded crystal

Lead-based painted toys and household furniture

Lead smelters

Folk remedies like azarcon & pay-loo-ah

Cosmetics like kohn & kajal

Some imported jewelry and metal charms

Lead is a Poison

Lead is a poisonous metal that our bodies cannot use. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, hearing, and behavioral problems, and can harm your child’s brain, kidneys, and other organs. Lead in the body stops good vitamins such as iron and calcium from working right. Some of these effects can be permanent.

A Healthy Diet is Important

Children with empty stomachs absorb more lead than children with full stomachs. Provide your child with 4-6 small meals during the day. Food rich in Iron, calcium an vitamin C can help protect your child from lead poisoning.

How do I know if my child is lead poisoned?

Children with lead poisoning usually do not look or act sick. The only way to know if your child has lead poisoning is by getting a blood test. Ask your health care provider or local health department to test your child under six years of age at least once a year.

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Get more information from the Lead Program brochure:

Look Out for Lead Brochure

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Categorized as Environmental Health

Contact Us

Oneida County Health Department
100 West Keenan Street
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm Mon-Fri

Telephone (715) 369-6111
Fax (715) 369-6112


To report a public health emergency or to report a notifiable disease after hours, please contact dispatch at 715-361-5100.

Click here to view map and additional contact information.



Mental Health Hotline - Mental Health Crisis? Forest, Vilas and Oneida County call 1-888-299-1188.

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Maternal and Child Health Hotline – Call 1-800-722-2295 for information on BadgerCare Plus, WIC, HealthCheck, maternal depression, Prenatal Care Coordination, family planning, developmental screenings, and more.