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July 1994

Prevalence of Elevated Blood Lead Levels in a Suburban Middle Class Private Practice

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(7):757-760. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170070095018

In 1991 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an update of their pamphlet Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children: A Statement by the Centers for Disease Control.1 In this updated version, the CDC significantly lowered the recommended blood lead levels that physicians should consider unacceptable. Whereas previous recommendations, published in 1985, considered blood lead levels of 1.2 μmol/L (25 μg/dL) or greater to be indicative of lead poisoning, the new guidelines considered a blood lead level of 0.48 μmol/L (10 μg/dL) or greater to be toxic. The 1991 publication went on to state, "Our goal is that all children should be screened [for lead poisoning] unless it can be shown that the community in which the child lives does not have a childhood lead poisoning problem." As a response to this lower threshold for lead toxicity and the recommendation by the CDC and others that all