National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is scheduled for Oct. 24-28.

To mark the week, Healthy Androscoggin is partnering with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to offer parents of young children who live in homes built prior to 1978 a free home lead dust test kit.

Lewiston-Auburn’s lead poisoning rates are three times higher than other high-density areas. In the past decade 610 children have been poisoned by lead in Androscoggin County alone, according to a news release from Hannah Dieterich, lead poisoning prevention coordinator.

Healthy Androscoggin will be distributing resources and brochures to families in Lewiston-Auburn. For more information about testing a home for lead, contact Dieterich at (207) 330-7879 or

Homeowners also can order a free lead dust test kit online at

“The point of offering these free test kits is to help our local families, especially those with small children, find out if their home or apartment has a lead dust problem, and help them figure out what to do to keep their children safe from lead,” Dieterich said.


Exposure to dust that comes from lead paint in homes built before 1950 is the most common way children are poisoned by lead in Maine. Lead paint is often found in homes built before 1950 and sometimes in homes built before 1978. Lead poisoning can cause behavior problems, learning disabilities, speech and language delays, and lower intelligence.

“Many homes in Lewiston-Auburn were built before 1950. We are hoping that the families with little kids — especially kids under age 6 — who live in older homes will take advantage of the opportunity to test their home, and their child for lead,” said Dieterich.

Made possible by the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund, the free lead dust tests on are part of Maine’s effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.


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