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Comment & Response
September 3, 2019

The Long View on Childhood Lead Poisoning

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of the Incarnate Word Osteopathic School of Medicine, San Antonio, Texas
JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 3, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.2997

To the Editor Preliminary to reviewing the 2019 US Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) judgement that “there is insufficient evidence to recommend screening for elevated blood lead levels” in asymptomatic children or pregnant women (similar to the 2006 USPSTF recommendation), Weitzman1 notes briefly the past success of collaborative efforts to reduce childhood lead poisoning. These collaborations were formalized in 1991 by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic Plan for the Elimination of Childhood Lead Poisoning and the companion US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statement “Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children.”2 The strategic plan collaborations have proved so successful that the earlier USPSTF “insufficient evidence” recommendation that unnerved many of us working in the field then makes more sense now in 2019.3 Now, along with Weitzman, I observe that, although the recommendation of the USPSTF has not changed, times have.

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