The State of Delaware is working with schools and health care partners to ensure free and accessible lead screening is available to families. There are two types of tests for the presence of elevated blood lead levels: Finger Sticks/Capillary Test (known as a lead screening) and Venous Tests (known as a blood test).
DPH Mobile Unit
The Division of Public Health performs Blood Lead Screenings (Capillary Fingerstick), as well as the following health services, through its Community Health Services Mobile Unit:
- HIV Testing, Counseling and Referral
- COVID-19 Testing
- COVID-19 Vaccinations
- Flu Shots
- Clinical and Community Resource Connections
The Mobile Unit is wheelchair accessible.
Vaccination and testing require patient and/or guardian consent.
No appointment is necessary; walk-ins are welcome. Dress for the weather as the wait line and check ins are outside. For health privacy reasons, only one family at a time is able to enter the unit. Units are not in service on State Holidays or weekends.
Where to Find Lead Screenings:
- DPH Community Health Services Mobile Unit
Public Health Clinics at State Service Centers
Capillary lead screenings (fingersticks) are available by appointment only for insured and uninsured of all ages at the following Public Health Clinic within State Service Centers.
- Hudson State Service Center, Public Health Clinic: 501 Ogletown Road, Newark DE 19711, 302-283-5757 ext. 3
- Porter State Service Center, Public Health Clinic: 509 W. 8th St., Wilmington DE 19801, 302-777-2860
- Williams State Service Center, Public Health Clinic: 805 River Rd., Dover DE 19901, 302-857-5140
- Milford State Service Center at the Riverwalk, Public Health Clinic: 253 NE Front St., Milford DE 19963, 302-424-7140
- Thurman Adams State Service Center, Public Health Clinic: 544 S. Bedford St., Georgetown DE 19947, 302-515-3174
- Anna C. Shipley State Service Center, Public Health Clinic: 350 Virginia Ave., Seaford DE 19973, 302-628-6772
Pediatrician/Primary Care Provider
Families can contact their pediatrician or primary care provider to discuss whether screening or testing is appropriate.
My child was screened for lead. Now what?
While there is no safe level of lead in children’s blood, capillary screening results 3.5 µg/dL or higher are considered “elevated” and require further action.
Step 1. Confirmatory Test
Capillary screening results of 3.5 µg/dL or higher require a confirmatory venous (blood) test. Please contact your child’s primary care physician for this confirmatory blood testing for lead.
The CDC’s recommended schedule for obtaining a confirmatory blood test is as follows and becomes more urgent with higher screening results:
- 3.5 to 9.9 µg/dL – testing within 1 to 3 months
- 10 to 44 µg/dL – testing within 1 week to 1 month
- 45 to 59 µg/dL – testing within 48 hours
- 60 to 69 µg/dL – testing within 24 hours
If the test confirms an elevated blood lead level, follow-up testing to track changes to the blood lead level may be necessary.
Step 2. Identify and Remove the Source of Exposure
Lead can be found in numerous places in the home and in a child’s environment, including lead dust from peeling paint, contaminated soil, drinking water (pipes/solder), vintage dinnerware as recent as 2005, certain food items, imported spices, imported cookware, imported makeup, costume jewelry, toys, imported supplements, and more.
Delaware’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program will mail a packet of information to assist parents in identifying the source of exposure, and families may receive a free home risk assessment if the confirmatory bloodtest is 7.0 µg/dL or higher.
Residents of certain ZIP codes in New Castle County may be eligible for home remediation. The “No Lead” program addresses and remediates lead hazards in homes within 5 ZIP codes: 19703, 19720, 19801,19802, 19805, and 19806. Households with children under the age of 6, with pregnant women, or those built before 1978 may be eligible. Learn More
Step 3. Importance of Diet
Feed children healthy, low-fat foods high in iron, calcium, and vitamin C, which helps prevent lead from being absorbed. Because lead is more easily absorbed on an empty stomach, more frequent small meals are recommended.
Step 4. Early Education
Early education exercises the brain, builds neural networks, and can help overcome the cognitive effects of lead poisoning. All Delaware children ages birth to three years with a confirmatory venous test of 5 µg/dL or higher are automatically eligible for early intervention services.
Additional Resources for Childhood Lead Poisoning:
Delaware’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Federal Recalls: Consumer Product Safety Commission
Type “lead poisoning” into the search box.
CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program