November 1992

Lead Poisoning in Young Children in Washington, DC: A Crisis That Remains to Be Addressed

Author Affiliations

The George Washington University Medical Center Children's National Medical Center 111 Michigan Ave NW Washington, DC 20010

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(11):1259-1260. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160230017004

Sir.—The Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Ga, have recently lowered the acceptable blood lead concentration in young children from 1.20 μmol/Lor less to 0.50 μmol/L or less.1 Lead values of 0.50 to 1.20 μmol/L have been shown to be associated with decreased intelligence and impaired neurobehavioral development.2,3 Specific social and medical interventions are now deemed necessary in this lead concentration range for exposed children.1 Although the incidence of toxic levels of lead in young children, using the new criteria, is not well established, it is expected to have a significant impact on the medical community. In addition, federal, state, and local health care resources will be adversely affected. In this report, we describe the incidence of lead poisoning in 2837 young inner-city children from the General Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic at Children's Hospital in Washington, DC.

Materials and Methods.—Intravenous blood specimens were randomly studied for lead

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