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Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Information for Healthcare Providers

Blood Lead Reference Value Now Lowered to 3.5 mcg/dL

The national standard for an elevated blood lead level is ≥ 3.5 µg/dL. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously defined an elevated blood lead level as ≥5 µg/dL.

What we do

The Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at HEALTH coordinates statewide efforts to eliminate lead poisoning and reduce lead exposure. This includes tracking cases of blood lead levels greater than or equal to 3.5 µg/dL.

What you should do

Screen patients

In Rhode Island, healthcare providers are required by law to conduct at least two blood lead screening tests on all children by three years of age. Results must be reported to the Rhode Island Department of Health within 10 days of the screening. Children should then be screened annually through six years of age.

If a child was screened at least twice prior to 36 months of age and all test results were less than 3.5 µg/dL, the Lead Screening and Referral Intervention Process can be used instead of a blood lead test to screen for lead poisoning.

Compliance with lead screening guidelines is assessed by measuring the proportion of children born in a given year with at least one blood lead test by 18 months of age, and at least two blood lead tests, no less than 12 months apart, by 36 months of age. more


Use KIDSNET to determine which of your patients are due for screenings for lead poisoning.

KIDSNET is an integrated child health information system that allows providers to collect and share health data electronically and to generate reports, including lists of patients in their practices who have not been screened for lead poisoning.

Other important steps healthcare providers should take

  • Encourage parents and guardians to follow up with lead screening appointments
  • Encourage parents and guardians to report housing issues to their city or town building officials
  • Provide parents and guardians with lead educational material