Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program

What is Primary Prevention?

In public health, “Primary Prevention” means to prevent something – like a child’s exposure to poisonous lead – from happening at all.

When a child is exposed to lead and becomes poisoned, everything that is done to limit the child’s exposure and minimize potential damage to the child’s growth and development is “Secondary Prevention.”  The essential medical and case management services provided by Erie County’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program , which can often make a difference in a child's future, are extremely important for children and their families who are affected by lead poisoning, but our hope is for no child to be poisoned by lead in Erie County.

Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Primary prevention is the key.


The Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Grant Program (Lead Primary) activities are focused in neighborhoods that have been identified as “communities of concern” where children are at highest risk for lead poisoning.  The Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Initiative (Primary Initiative) is a County-wide program available in all areas of Erie County.  Lead Primary and Primary Initiative provide the information and tools that families, homeowners and property owners need to prevent children from being exposed to dangerous lead hazards.

Communities of Concern

Lead Primary carries out activities in 1, 2, 3 or 4 unit family homes in zip codes identified by NY State Department of Health as "Communities of Concern" for Lead Poisoning.  These zip codes are 14201, 14207, 14208, 14209, 14210, 14211, 14212, 14213, and 14215. Click here for a map of Communities of Concern.

Certain neighborhoods in these zip codes are identified to receive a concentrated intervention. These neighborhoods are called “Areas of High Risk" and are designated as such by the Erie County Commissioner of Health, based upon established guidelines in the New York State Environmental Health Manual.  

Each home in the “area of high risk” receives a full exterior inspection, and in some cases, an interior inspection and a lead education visit for the occupant. Repairs, utilizing lead safe work practices, must be made to any identified lead hazards.

County-Wide Services

Families with young children who want information about lead poisoning prevention can request an assessment of their pre-1978 home. A visual exterior and interior inspection by staff will identify any potential lead hazards and a lead education visit with the family will provide cleaning supplies and strategies for avoiding lead hazards. Repairs, utilizing lead safe work practices, must be made to any identified lead hazards.

Who Can Participate in the Program?
  • Anyone (property owners, tenants, and landlords) living or owning property in the program's target zip codes, or families with young children County-Wide
    • 1, 2, 3 or 4 family homes that were built before 1978;
    • Children living in the home under the age of six or who spend 6 hours a week or more in the home.
  • NOTE: Homeowners in the designated “areas of high risk” are automatically a participant.
Lead Primary and Primary Initiative promote capacity building in Erie County to assist in the fight against lead poisoning:
  • Free training on how to conduct "Lead Safe Work Practices" (LSWP) when doing repairs or remodeling in the home;
  • Referrals to additional resources and programs available for lead poisoning prevention;
  • Training for agencies, municipalities, & community organizations.

Funding provided by: New York State Department of Health and Erie County

Related Programs
Related FAQ’s

Erie County Department of Health  
LEADSAFE Erie County
503 Kensington Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14124
Tel: 716-961-6800 
Fax: 716-961-6880

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations