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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
May 15, 2013

Many Children Still Have High Blood Lead Levels

Author Affiliations

News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Section Editor: Rebecca Voelker, MSJ.

JAMA. 2013;309(19):1987. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4953

Eliminating lead in paint, gasoline, and children's toys has drastically reduced the number of children with dangerous blood lead levels since the late 1970s. But a new study shows that 2.6% of US children aged 1 to 5 years still have excess lead in their blood.

Using data from the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, investigators calculated how many children in the United States have blood lead levels of 5 μg/dL or higher, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention set as a “level of concern” for intellectual and behavioral deficits linked with lead exposure.

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