June 23/30, 1999

Reducing Blood Lead LevelsBenefits and Strategies

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.

JAMA. 1999;281(24):2340-2342. doi:10.1001/jama.281.24.2340

Despite dramatic reductions in population lead exposure over the past 2 decades, nearly 900,000 US children younger than 6 years still have elevated blood lead levels (≥0.483 µmol/L [≥10 µg/dL]).1,2 The problem disproportionately affects low-income children living in older dwellings. Available data suggest that subtle health effects, such as lower IQ scores in children, may extend to blood lead levels well below the 0.483-µmol/L (10-µg/dL) threshold.3 While not as well studied, an association between blood lead levels in this range and cognitive function of middle-aged and elderly men has also been reported.4 Further research may continue to redefine what constitutes an entirely "safe" level.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview