Universal Lead Screening

In October 2023, Governor Whitmer signed legislation that requires 1- and 2-year-olds to be tested for lead poisoning.  The bi-partisan bills call for physicians treating a minor who is 1 or 2 to test for lead exposure. (Senate Bill 0031 and House Bill 4200; Public Act 145 of 2023) All 4-year-olds must also be tested if they live in a part of the state that has an increased risk of lead poisoning. This testing requirement for doctors went into effect January 1, 2024. Universal lead screening will increase detection of lead poisoning in Michigan. The new law is not mandatory; parents can opt out of the testing if they object.

ICHD offers capillary testing (finger pokes) to all children. Children in the WIC program are tested at their regular WIC appointments. If your child is not in the WIC program, you may call the ICHD and schedule an appointment to have their lead level tested. Insurance (Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Priority Health) will be billed. If the child is uninsured, the cost is $25, cash or check, no debit or credit cards accepted; however, if there is an inability to pay, the fee can be waived.

If the capillary blood lead level is above the Centers for Disease control AND Michigan Department of Health and Human Services upper threshold of acceptable blood lead level of 3.5 mcg/dL, the child needs to be rechecked by drawing blood from a vein at their Dr.’s office or lab. This is to confirm that the blood level is elevated at 3.5 mcg/dL or above. Confirmed elevated lead levels are managed by trained Nurse Case Management staff at ICHD in collaboration with the child’s primary care provider. All elevated venous blood lead levels of 3.5 mcg/dl qualify for additional follow-up known as Nurse Case Management. Nurse Case Management includes such activities as a home visit by an RN trained to conduct a health, developmental, environmental, social, and dietary assessment and to develop a plan of care to help lower the level and/or assist with removing it from the home. The nurse will also provide the family with home assessment information and lead exposure prevention strategies for parents and children. The nurse may refer a family to community and state resources, such as:

Michigan Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention Program (CLPPP)

Michigan Lead Safe Home Program

Ionia County Early On for child developmental assessment and intervention

No amount of lead in the blood is considered safe, making early diagnosis and intervention essential. Exposure to lead is a serious health hazard to children and requires a coordinated and systematic plan to reduce a child’s potential to develop issues with their cognitive/learning development, emotional/behavioral and physical illnesses that can last a lifetime.

If you have questions, please call the Ionia County Health Department at 616-527-5341 and ask to speak to a Lead Nurse Case Manager.





Woman, Infants, & Children (WIC)

(616) 527-5337
WIC Bridge Card (EBT) Customer Service:

(616) 527-8208

Mon – Fri: 8:00am – 4:00pm

WIC Late Clinics:
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10am – 5:30pm