AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

This Georgia map shows you if your child is at risk for lead poisoning

The ongoing scandal in Flint, Mich. is focusing the nation's attention on lead poisoning from water, but evidence shows the greatest risk comes from lead paint in older homes. And recent research shows that if you live in metro Atlanta, chances are your children face a higher risk of lead poisoning that almost anywhere else in the state.

This map, published in 2015, designates Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties in the highest risk category for lead poisoning. Nearby Hall County also makes the list.

The highest risk county in Georgia is Chatham, home of Savannah.

Why? Because lead paint was often used in homes built before 1978, the year lead paint was banned. If you live in one of these homes, assume that it has lead unless tests tell you otherwise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pay especially close attention if you living in rental housing, which typically isn't as well-maintained as owner-occupied housing. And as low-income children tend to live in these homes, they are at especially high risk, according to the CDC.

You can read about the research that led to the creation of this map here.

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