Capillary Lead Testing
Cooper County has been identified by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), as one of the geographic areas in the state considered to be at high risk for lead poisoning. According to Scorecard Pollution Locator, Cooper County has:
- 230 Housing Units with a high risk of lead hazards (4%)
- 2,000 Housing Units built before 1950 (37%)
- 670 Low Income Housing Units (11%)
- 220 Children living below poverty level (23%)
The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) estimates that Cooper County had 320 Medicaid eligible children that were required, by law, to be tested for lead. Only 212 of those 320 were actually tested. In order to help increase our testing rates, the Cooper County Public Health Center will offer routine capillary lead testing by appointment. The main purpose of a childhood lead-screening program has been to identify asymptomatic lead-poisoned children. Since children have more hand-to-mouth activity and their systems absorb more lead than adults, they are at a higher risk for lead exposure.
Children who belong to the MC+ program should be receiving screening through their primary physician during well child exams. Program guidelines prevent duplication of services. Therefore, good communication between the parents and providers is essential.
In 2001, the Missouri Legislature passed a law, 701.340-701.349RSMo, which makes blood lead testing mandatory in certain High Risk areas. Missouri Rule 19CSR20-8.030 sets forth the high-risk areas for lead poisoning in Missouri. This rule outlines the requirements for lead testing and may be found at: http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/19csr/19c20-8.pdf
In Universal Testing areas, the DHSS requires:
- Any child under the age of six years living in or visiting for 10 hours per week or more, the universal testing area, will have their blood tested annually for lead.
- Day care facilities are required to record a “proof of lead testing” signed by the Health care provider performing the test within thirty (30) days of the child’s enrollment. If the parent/guardian does not provide it or a written statement stating why they do not want the child tested, the Day Care Facility is to offer the parent assistance in scheduling a test.
- Any child found to be at High-Risk, is living in a residence that was build before 1978, and is undergoing renovation, may be tested every six months and once following completion of the work (also applies to children found to be at high-risk in targeted testing areas).
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)/Missouri Department of Social Services, Division of Medical Services requires a blood lead test at 12 and 24 months for all Medicaid eligible children.
Children with capillary lead test results greater than 10 µg/dl or greater or with questionable results will be referred to their physician for a venous blood draw.
To access the Lead Testing and Risk Assessment Tool in its entirety, visit the DHSS website at:
Missouri Lead Testing areas Maps may be accessed at: