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November 1992

Health Effects of Lead at Low Exposure Levels: Expert Consensus and Rationale for Lowering the Definition of Childhood Lead Poisoning

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, NY 10467

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(11):1278-1281. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160230036011

Since the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 1985 Statement on Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children1 was published, an extensive database has provided a direct link between low-level lead exposure during early development and deficits in neurobehavioral-cognitive performance evident later in childhood through adolescence.2-17 These consistent and conclusive studies, based on the strength of the science, have demonstrated the presence of a constellation of neurotoxic and other adverse effects of lead at blood lead (BPb) levels at least as low as 0.48 μmol/L (10 μg/dL). Accordingly, federal agencies and advisory groups have redefined childhood lead poisoning as a BPb level of 0.48 μmol/L (10 μg/dL).18-23 These agencies arrived at this finding through consensus among informed lead experts and preparation of scientific documents evaluated through the peer review process. Furthermore, according to the CDC, no threshold for the lead-IQ relationship has been established.18 Before discussing some of

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