ATLANTA, Georgia – Last Thursday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered the lead poisoning threshold in children.
According to CDC Acting Principal Deputy Director Dr. Debra Houry, consistent lead exposure could cause long-term detrimental effects on a child’s health. Thus, the CDC expresses the importance of keeping the children’s health the most important, “I am confident this update will allow us to further safeguard the health of the next generation.”
According to the Associated Press, the number of children with toxic metal in their blood doubled in number throughout the years.
JAMA Pediatrics estimates that at least 82% of the children in Missouri and 65% of the children in Kansas have lead in their blood.
Dr. Harvey Kaufman of Quest Diagnostics stresses that although CDC lowered lead limits, children can absorb no “safe” amount.
Most likely, children absorb lead in their blood from their homes. Children can also contract lead from old paint, dust, and drinking water through lead pipes. Furthermore, children tend to absorb four times as much lead than adults, potentially harming the child’s brain development, attention, and other behaviors.
The last time CDC officially changed the lead threshold was nine years ago, committing to revise the threshold every four years. When the CDC finds a child with heightened blood levels, the CDC usually takes the necessary precautions to clean up the contamination.
Pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital Dr. Marissa Hauptman hopes that the threshold adjustment comes with funding for more intricate cleaning operations.