Childhood Lead Poisoningenvironmental public health tracking


To track the elimination of childhood lead poisoning in Rhode Island

Key Information

Numbers of children younger than age 6 whose blood lead levels are above the reference level (Blood lead levels are measured in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL)). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently defines any blood lead level greater than or equal to 5 mcg/dL as the reference level. (Prior to 2012 the CDC defined any blood lead level greater than or equal to 10 mcg/dL as the reference level.) more

Collection Period

2000 to present

Rhode Island Numbers

  • An estimated 80% of Rhode Island homes were built before 1978 and likely contain lead-based paint which is the most common source of lead exposure to children in Rhode Island.
  • Cities where the child poverty level is greater than 15% are designated as core cites. more
  • Although Rhode Island cities and towns have experienced a dramatic decline in incidence over the last ten years, cases of lead poisoning continue to concentrate in the core cities.


Data are based on venous tests and confirmed capillary tests.