The number of children considered at risk of lead poisoning jumped by more than five-fold on Wednesday, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its threshold for the diagnosis.
Children’s health advocates applauded the decision, but also expressed concern that recent congressional budget cuts will drastically limit funds that could help affected kids and prevent further poisoning.
In January, a CDC advisory panel recommended that the threshold at which a child is deemed to have lead poisoning should be cut in half, from 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood to 5. By accepting the panel’s recommendation, the CDC now effectively increases the number of children under age 6 with elevated blood lead levels from approximately 77,000 to 442,000.
Rather than a doctor telling parents that their child’s blood lead test “came back negative” when, say, the result is 7 micrograms, now those parents will be armed with information that might help them monitor and reduce further exposures.
Among Norton’s recommendations: removing old leaded windows, repairing paint that is chipping or peeling, using a HEPA vacuum and keeping kids’ hands washed.
“We are dealing much more frankly with parents about the threats that lead poses to their children,” she said. “For generations we’爱上海shlf1314
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