Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) is working toward decreasing elevated levels of lead in children's blood by 2020. Head Start staff and health professionals might find this information useful when implementing lead poisoning prevention efforts. The CDC assists state and local childhood lead poisoning prevention programs, provides scientific basis for policy decisions, and ensures health issues are addressed in decisions about housing and the environment.


The Lead Contamination Control Act of 1988 authorized the CDC to initiate program efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the United States. As a result of this Act, the CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention branch was created. Its primary responsibility is to:

  • Develop programs and policies to prevent childhood lead poisoning
  • Educate the public and health care providers about childhood lead poisoning
  • Provide funding to state and local health departments to determine the extent of childhood lead poisoning by:
    • Screening children for eleated blood lead levels
    • Helping to ensure that lead-poisoned infants and children receive medical and environmental follow-up
    • Developing neighborhood-based efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning
  • Support research to determine the effectiveness of prevention efforts at federal, state, and local levels


Since its inception in 1990, the CDC CLPPP effort has:

  • Funded nearly 60 childhood lead poisoning prevention programs to develop, implement, and evaluate lead poisoning prevention activities
  • Provided technical assistance to support the development of state and local lead screening plans
  • Fostered agreements between state and local health departments and state Medicaid agencies to link surveillance and Medicaid data
  • Provided training to public health professionals through CDC's Lead Poisoning Prevention Training Center
  • Supported the formation of collaborative relationships between CDC's funded partners and other lead poisoning prevention organizations and agencies (e.g., community-based, nonprofit, and housing groups)
  • Developed the Childhood Blood Lead Surveillance System through which states can report data to CDC
  • 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 and case management guidelines which provide health departments and healthcare providers with standards to identify and manage children with elevated blood lead levels

Future Directions

One of the goals of Healthy People 2020 is the elimination of childhood lead poisoning as a public health problem. The CDC, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other agencies have developed a federal interagency strategy to achieve this goal by 2020. The key elements of this interagency strategy include:

  • Identification and control of lead paint hazards
  • Identification and care for children with elevated blood lead levels
  • Surveillance of elevated blood lead levels in children to monitor progress
  • Research to further improve childhood lead poisoning prevention methods

Select the link to read more about CDC CLPPP.

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. HHS/CDC. 2014. English.

Last Reviewed: September 2014

Last Updated: November 13, 2014