Still the #1 environmental threat to children.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon signed the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act. Oil companies started phasing out the use of lead in gasoline in 1975. And subsequent legislation created the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which effectively banned leaded paint in 1978. Consequently, many in the public, and even some healthcare providers, mistakenly believe that lead poisoning is no longer a problem. While we have made significant progress, the scourge of lead poisoning persists: it remains the number one environmental threat to children.

But lead poisoning is entirely preventable!

The key is early detection through effective screening and aggressive enforcement programs to eliminate lead contamination in housing, consumer products, and the environment. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), approximately 24 million housing units in the U.S. have lead paint hazards and elevated levels of lead-contaminated dust and soil. More than four million of these dwellings are homes to one or more young children. Older housing stock is not the only source of lead. One report determined that 34 percent of children under the age of six with lead poisoning in Los Angeles County had been exposed to items containing lead that had been brought into the home, including candy, folk and traditional medicines, ceramic dinnerware, and metallic toys and trinkets. Children can also be exposed to lead from their parents' clothes. A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study found that children of lead-exposed construction workers were six times more likely to have blood-lead levels over the recommended limit than children whose parents did not work in lead-related industries. In addition to construction workers and people who work with lead directly, police, military, and firing-range personnel can also be exposed to high lead levels, putting their young children at risk.

Click for information on lead-poisoning programs by state Today approximately 310,000 U.S. children aged one to five years have blood-lead levels greater than 10 μg/dL. The General Accounting Office estimates that as many as 427,000 more young children have elevated blood-lead levels that go undetected. Most are poor, urban, and from minority and immigrant families - the hardest-to-reach populations. Eighty percent of children identified with elevated blood-lead levels are served by federal health programs, such as Medicaid and WIC, and the prevalence of elevated blood-lead levels for children served by these programs was nearly five-times higher than that of non-enrolled children! > Continue

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Lead sources may include: paint chips, dust, & soil in or around older (pre-1978) buildings older painted objects leaded glass, crystal, pewter, & ceramic dishes (more likely in painted china & in pottery from Latin America, the Middle East, & India) herbal/traditional remedies & cosmetics from other countries candy from Mexico toys & trinkets
Doctors and Public Health, click here to learn how the LeadCare II system can help you meet your state's blood-lead screening requirements.