What is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring, bluish-gray metal. It is used in the production of batteries, ammunition, metal products and devices to shield x-rays.

Lead has a sweet taste to it and can be found in paint chips, dust and dirt. That being said, young children are more prone to getting lead poisoning because they put their hands to their mouth more frequently than older children and adults.

Where is it Found?

Like mentioned before, lead can be found in paint chips, dust and dirt. The following are other places it may be found:

Metal and costume jewelry


Stained glass/Leaded crystal

Ceramic ware/Glazed Pottery


To be tested, all that’s usually required is a finger poke. However, if blood level results are high, an additional blood draw may be taken in order to confirm results.

Why is it Dangerous?

The effects of lead poisoning are permanent. Children under the age of six, are at particular risk of lead poisoning. The human body cannot detect the difference between lead and calcium (a mineral that strengthens bones). Lead remains in the bloodstream for a few weeks and then is absorbed into the bones.

How Long is the Process? 

There is a lot that goes into testing and getting rid of lead in your home. First, you fill out an application to determine eligibility. After that, you will be contacted by someone from the county to schedule a visual assessment where they will gather samples to be tested for lead. Then they will decide how long the scope of work will take to complete. If needed, the county will pay for you to be relocated for the work to be completed. For more information on the process, you can call 385-468-4892.


  • The property must have been built prior to 1978
  • Pregnant or must have children under 6 years old living in or frequently visiting the property (6 hours per week/60 hours a year)
  • Property must be properly insured if located in an area with a flood hazard (as determined by FEMA)
  • Rental units must have at least one bedroom and not be intended primarily for occupancy by the elderly.

There are different qualifications for home owners vs rentals.

For more information on lead poisoning and eligibility, click here.

Insider Home Maintenance