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May 1996

Elevated Environmental Lead Levels in a Day Care Setting

Author Affiliations

Medical Director, Washington Poison Center 155 100th St NE, Suite 400 Seattle, WA 98125-8012

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(5):556. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170300110025

In all candor, the report by Weismann et al1 regarding blood lead levels among children in day care settings in the face of elevated environmental lead levels might well have been subtitled "Much Ado About Nothing." The authors themselves hint that parental concerns, egged on by conscientious but misguided political agencies, precipitated a crisis. The sponsoring university responded as a "super-prudent landlord" and picked up the costs of testing, passing them on, of course, to their traditional avenues of support. It made no charges but encountered significant costs!

To me the message is a clear one. The presence (or absence) of environmental lead contamination per se ought to no longer be the criterion for declaring a bona fide lead problem. Rather there must be evidence of a biological response, ie, elevated blood lead levels in those exposed to that environment. If the biological specimens are not elevated, concern can

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