Childhood Lead Poisoning

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.
  • Changing the blood lead level of concern from >10 mcg/dL to >5mcg/dl caused the incidence rate to increase from 0.7% to 5% in 2012
  • 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.

Note: Data are based on venous tests and confirmed capillary tests.


High lead levels are those for which children who have not previously had an elevated lead blood lead level of greater than 5 µg/dL. Very High levels are those that are more than 10 µg/dL.

Data Table

Data Source

  • Rhode Island Childhood Lead Prevention Database
  • Rhode Island Department of Health Lead Elimination Surveillance System