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Lead Poisoning Prevention
Lead Awareness
Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains lead. Over 98% of the homes in Wauwatosa were built before 1978. Lead from paint, chips, and dust can pose serious health hazards if not taken care of properly. Adults exposed to lead can:
  • Become irritable
  • Have reduced coordination
  • Experience damage to their kidneys, sperm cells, developing fetuses, and nerves associated with the senses

Lead's effects on young children from one to five years old are worse. Children are involved in more hand-to-mouth activities, and lead is absorbed by their bodies more easily. A child's developing nervous system is also more easily harmed by lead. For more information please see the EPA brochure on Protecting Your Family From Lead.

Lead in Water
The City of Wauwatosa Water Department has issued a handout Questions About Lead in Water.

Blood Lead Level Screening
All children ages one through five years should have a blood test to determine their exposure level to lead. An initial screening should be done when children are one year old. Contact your health care provider or clinic for this screening.

If you do not have insurance to cover this screening, please call the Wauwatosa Health Department at (414) 479-8939.

HEPA Vacuum Rental Program
As part of the City of Wauwatosa Health Department's Lead Prevention Program, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums are available for rent. HEPA vacuums have exceptionally fine filtering systems which entraps and contains fine lead dust particles. The use of a household vacuum cleaner is not recommended for lead clean up because the lead dust is recirculated into the air. The Health Department's HEPA vacuum is commercial quality, containing three HEPA filters as opposed to the single-filter models found in stores.

HEPA vacuum is available for rental for those that:

  • Reside in Wauwatosa (use for residential properties only)
  • Reside in property built before 1978
  • Have small children that live in the home or spend significant time in the home
  • Have completed remodeling projects in need of lead clean-up

To arrange a rental, contact the Public Health Information and Referral Nurse at (414) 479-8939 | Email

Rental Costs (cash or check)
  • Deposit: $25
  • Daily Rental Fee: $10
  • HEPA vac bag: $5

Monitoring Children with Lead Poisoning
In partnership with the Wisconsin Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program (WCLPPP), Wauwatosa public health nurses work with all families of lead-poisoned children to provide education and monitoring. Our certified staff conducts environmental assessments on homes in which lead-poisoned children reside. The nurses work with the families to monitor the child's health and prevent future lead poisonings. 

For more information on case management or preventing childhood lead poisoning, contact the Wauwatosa Health Department at (414) 479-8939.

Lead Paint in Wauwatosa
The majority of homes in Wauwatosa contain lead paint. Remodeling may pose a hazard to young children if specific precautions are not observed. Certified lead risk assessors are on the health department staff to answer your questions regarding lead hazards, safe remodeling practices, and children's health issues related to lead. 

The Health Department also has free publications and literature about remodeling and the hazards of lead. For more information, contact the Wauwatosa Health Department at (414) 479-8939. | Email

Lead Disclosure
Federal and state law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting, buying, or renovating pre-1978 housing:
  • Landlords have to disclose known information on lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases will include a federal form about lead-based paint.
  • Sellers have to disclose known information on lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts will include a federal form about lead-based paint in the building. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards.
  • Renovators have to disclose known information on lead-based paint hazards if any painted surface is disturbed on the exterior or interior of the house.

For more information on the effects of lead and what you can do to protect you and your family, contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Weatherization Program

The Wauwatosa Health Department administers a weatherization program for the replacement of original leaded windows and doors in Wauwatosa households. The U.S. Department on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds the program. The weatherization program funds the removal of leaded components in the home, which are found in properties built on or prior to 1978. A minimum of 5 households are accepted into the program each year. 

Program Criteria

  • The home or business property must be located within the Wauwatosa city limits.
  • Homeowner or business owner must meet low to moderate income guidelines as defined by the most current Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income levels based on household size.
  • The applicant must currently own and currently reside at the property and/or operate a day care from the property.
  • The home or business property must be built prior to 1978.
  • The assessed value of the home must be ≤ $300,000.
  • The home or business property must have at least one child <6 years old who resides at the property and/or who visits the property regularly, on at least two different days within any week (Sunday through Saturday period), provided that each day’s visit lasts at least 3 hours and the combined weekly visits last at least 6 hours. The combined annual visits must total at least 60 hours.
  • The home or business property must contain some original door and window components.
  • Homeowner or business owner must have a history of paying the most current property taxes to the City of Wauwatosa

For more information on any of these items, please contact the Public Health Information and Referral Nurse at (414) 479-8939 | Email

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