kNOw Lead KCK Logo

The kNOw Lead KCK program is now managed by the Wyandotte County Public Health Department. It is a Housing and Urban Development grant-funded program that assists residents with lead-based paint stabilization. Certified lead inspectors identify lead hazards and make recommendations, and qualified lead paint abatement contractors perform the remediation, which may include:

  • Replacement of windows, doors and trim
  • Removing deteriorated lead paint and repainting
  • Replacing contaminated soil


You may qualify for this program if:

  • Your household meets income guidelines.
  • You live in Kansas City, KS.
  • You own or rent a home, duplex, or multi-family unit.
  • Your home was built before 1978.
  • Please note that homeowners and renters have different qualification guidelines. Please call for more details or visit our website.
  • Annual Household Income Limit - Updated: May 16, 2024
Family Size Annual Household Income Limit
1 $57,750
2 $66,000
3 $74,500
4 $82,500
5 $89,100
6 $95,700
7 $102,300



Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

EPA - Lead-based Paint can be found both inside and outside the home flyer

Lead is part of our world today. It is found in the air, soil, dust, and the paint of some homes or buildings built before 1978. Being exposed to too much lead can cause serious health problems. Lead is never a normal part of your body. The good news is that lead poisoning can be prevented. The flyers below explain common sources of lead in children, soil, and occupational lead exposure.


Common Sources of Lead

Lead Dust

Household dust is a common lead source for young children. The dust can contain lead from deteriorated, interior lead-based paint or tracked-in, contaminated soil. Lead dust can be created during home remodeling or renovation projects or when lead-based paint is not removed in a lead-safe way. Your house can look clean and still have lead in it. A child can breathe in or eat this dust.

  • Keep your home as dust-free as possible. Wet wash window wells, sills, and floors with a cleaning solution of household detergent. Mix the household detergent according to the directions on the container. Be sure to use two buckets - one bucket for the cleaning solution and one for the clean rinse water. Use separate sets of disposable rags or paper towels - one set for the wash step and one for the rinse step.

  • Wash your child’s hands with soap and water before eating, naps, and bedtime.

  • Wash bottles, teething rings, and toys with soap and water.

  • Do not allow children to play or eat around window areas in older homes.

  • Adults working in jobs with lead should shower and change clothes and shoes before coming home. This includes painters, remodelers, workers in smelters, battery plants, and radiator or auto body shops.

  • Clothes worn at work should not be washed with other clothes. Clean work clothes separately from other clothing. Run the rinse cycle once before using the washer again.

  • Keep windows closed on windy days so that lead-contaminated soil does not get into the house.

Lead-Based Paint

Examples of lead-based paint

  • Eating cracking, chipping, and peeling lead-based paint is also a lead source for young children. Lead paint was used inside and outside homes built before 1978.

  • Be aware that lead-based paint may have been used on cribs, highchairs, windows, woodwork, walls, doors, railings, and ceilings.

  • Don't let your child eat or chew on anything you think may contain lead-based paint. Look for teeth marks on the woodwork in your home.

  • Be sure to wash the windows, as described above, often. Loose paint and dust can build up inside and under the window area.

  • Do not use your household vacuum to clean up paint chips or leaded dust. The filter in your household vacuum cleaner is not designed to pick up and hold small particles of lead. Using a regular vacuum cleaner will spread lead dust into the air.

  • Painting over chipping or peeling lead-based paint does not make it safe! You must first safely remove chipping or peeling lead-based paint before repainting.


  • Soil can be contaminated with lead from deteriorated exterior paint on homes, buildings, or fences. Due to past use of leaded gasoline, lead can also be found in the soil near major roadways or intersections in urban areas. Neither of these places is safe to play areas for a child.

  • Don’t let your child eat outside on bare soil areas, eat dirt, or play next to the house or the street where bare soil is present.

  • Cover bare soil (any soil you can see) with grass, mulch, shrubs, or other durable ground covers.

  • Keep washable rugs at all your home’s entrances. Wash these rugs separately from other items. Run the rinse cycle once before using the washer again.

  • Take your shoes off at the door so soil and dust are not tracked into the house.


  • Plants usually do not absorb lead unless there is a large amount of lead in the soil.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating to clean off any lead dust that may have settled on the food. Do not store juices or food in open cans. Store food in glass, stainless steel, or sturdy plastic.

  • Remove the outer leaves of leafy green vegetables.

  • Plant gardens away from the house, garage, fence, or other structures covered with chipping paint.


  • Lead levels in your water are likely highest if your home or water system has lead pipes or copper pipes with lead solder.

  • Plumbing put in before 1930 may contain lead pipes. Plumbing installed before 1985 may contain lead-based solder in the copper joints in the water supply system. Brass faucets and ball valves may contain lead.

  • The only way to know if your water (or another lead source) has lead in it is to have it tested by a certified lab.

If you think you may have lead in your water

  • Do not cook, drink, or make baby formula with water from the hot water faucet. Hot water dissolves more lead than cold water.

  • Always use cold water for cooking or drinking. If the water has not been used for six or more hours, let the cold water run for a few minutes or until the temperature changes.

  • Stay away from the hot water tap for eating and drinking. If you need hot water, heat cold water from the tap or the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my child has too much lead in his/her body?

People with high levels of lead in their bodies often do not seem sick. The symptoms that occur are very general and can happen for many reasons. The Unified Government Public Health Department or family doctor can do a simple blood test to determine if there is too much lead in the blood. This blood test involves taking a blood sample from your child's finger or a vein in the arm. If the blood sample shows a problem with lead, more testing will be done.

Adults who think they may have been exposed to too much lead should also be tested.

Which children need to be tested?

A yearly blood lead test is advised for children up to six years of age who:

  • Live, play, or spend time in older housing (built before 1978) with chipping or peeling paint;
  • Live, play, or spend time in older housing (built before 1978) with recent or ongoing remodeling;
  • Have brothers, sisters, housemates, or playmates with moderate or high blood lead levels;
  • Live near a roadway with heavy traffic or a business where lead is used;
  • Live with an adult who works in a job or has a hobby where lead is used.

Call the Unified Government Public Health Department at (913) 573-6714 to find out how you can have your child tested.

What can I do to prevent lead poisoning?

Don’t forget that lead may be a health hazard on the job. People working as painters, remodelers, auto repair workers, plumbers, and battery factory workers can be exposed to lead on the job. Follow these safety rules to help protect you and your family.

  • Wear protective equipment and clothing on the job.
  • Change your clothes, shower, and wash your hair before leaving the job.
  • Do not shake out these work clothes or wash them with other clothing. Clean washable work clothing separately from other clothes. Run the rinse cycle once before using the washer again.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke in an area where lead is used.

The best way to prevent lead poisoning among young children is to remove the lead source. If you cannot remove peeling or chipping lead-based paint immediately, block the area with a heavy chair so a child cannot get to it. You can also shut the door to a room or move a crib or bed away from the wall. Remove the lead source promptly and safely. If you own your home and have a child in the home six years and under, call the Unified Government Public Health Department at (913) 573-6714 or Community Development at (913) 573-5100 and ask about the kNOw Lead KCK Program.

Protect your child from lead dust by wet washing the floors and wiping down your windowsills, woodwork, chairs, and tables often. Be sure to wash your child's hands, face, and toys often with soap and water.

Is my child's diet important?

Yes, a well-balanced diet is very important. Meals high in fats and oils are not good because they can help the body absorb lead. Eating foods rich in calcium and iron allows the body to absorb less lead. Eating foods with Vitamin C helps increase the amount of iron in the blood. Eating various foods as part of a well-balanced diet helps a child grow healthy and strong.

Healthy Foods to Fight Lead

Is there a way to reduce high blood levels of lead?

A treatment is used to bring down high blood lead levels. Certain medicines combine with lead so the body can get rid of it more easily. The doctor will decide if a child needs this treatment. The best way to lower an elevated blood lead level is to prevent continued exposure to lead.

How do you get lead poisoning?

Lead enters your body each time you inhale leaded fumes or dust or swallow something that contains lead.

Your body does not have a use for lead. If you are exposed to a small amount of lead, your body will discharge it. If exposed to small amounts of lead over time or one large dose, your body may take in more lead than it can clean out.

Lead poisoning is a disease that occurs when too much lead builds up in the body.

How does lead harm the body?

Too much lead can harm both children and adults. No one knows exactly how much lead it takes to cause health problems. There are often no symptoms until the health problems are very serious. Usually, people who are lead-poisoned do not seem to be sick.

Lead poisoning can cause learning, behavior, and health problems in young children. Lead can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage in adults.

Who is at risk?

Children under six years of age spending time in homes built before 1978, with chipping or peeling paint, are at greatest risk. Adults who work with lead on the job are also at high risk. This can include painters, remodelers, or workers in smelters or battery plants.

People remodeling their homes may also be at risk if the paint in the home has lead. Family members can also become lead poisoned while the lead-based paint is removed from the home if the work is not done properly. Lead was allowed in household paint until 1978. The older your home is, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint. Paints containing up to 50 percent lead were used on the inside and outside of homes through the 1950s.

A pregnant or nursing woman's exposure to lead can harm her unborn baby or child.

Why do children run a greater risk?

It is normal for young children to put things in their mouths. Eating lead paint chips and lead dust is a very common cause of lead poisoning in young children.

Young children are also very active and like to explore. A child can crawl on the floor and reach windows, walls, railings, or doors. These areas can be sources of peeling and chipping lead-based paint or leaded dust. Even toys and food falling on the floor can be coated with lead dust.

Children also risk more because their bodies absorb the lead more easily. A child's quickly growing body can be harmed by even small amounts of lead.

What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?

  • No desire to eat food
  • Loss of recently acquired skills
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Lack of energy
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Trouble sleeping

Symptoms of lead poisoning do not appear until a child is very ill. Children up to six years of age should have a blood lead test done each year. Your healthcare provider can perform this test.

What happens once blood is drawn and results are sent to the Unified Government Public Health Department?

  • If levels are less than 5 µg/dL, information is entered into the surveillance database, and no additional follow-up is recommended
  • If levels of children are 5 µg/dL or greater, follow-up or confirmation testing and educational intervention are called for. This includes giving the children’s parents or guardian a letter, bringing in the child for follow-up or confirmation testing, and providing information on how to reduce and/or avoid exposure to lead in the environment.
  • Levels of 60 µg/dL or greater indicate a medical emergency and immediate action is taken.

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