Lead can pass from a mother to her unborn baby. Maternal lead exposure during pregnancy can cause fatal lead exposure, which may impact fetus growth and neurodevelopment.
Prenatal healthcare providers are expected to provide each pregnant woman anticipatory guidance on lead poisoning prevention during pregnancy, and to assess each pregnant woman at the initial prenatal visit for high dose lead exposure using a risk assessment tool.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends only women who are at risk get tested. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, you may be at risk for lead exposure and should talk with your doctor about having a blood test.
- Do you live in or regularly visit an old house (built before 1978) the has peeling, chipping, dusting, or chalking paint?
- Do you live in or regularly visit an old house (built before 1978) with on going renovations that generate dust (e.g. sanding, scraping)?
- Sometimes pregnant woman have the urge to eat things which are not food, such as clay, soil, plaster, or paint chips. Do you ever eat or chew non-food items?
- Do you have children in the house with elevated blood lead levels?
- Are there any lead pipes in your home?
- Do you use non-commercially prepared pottery or leaded crystal?
- Do you use any traditional folk remedies or cosmetics that are not sold in a regular drug store; are homemade or imported?
- Do you or others in the household have an occupation or hobby involving lead exposure?
- Have you recently moved to the United States from another country?
- Do you live near a point source of lead, such as mines, smelters, or battery recycling plants (even if closed)?