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CDC Releases Latest Blood Lead Data, Confirming that 535,000 Children Have High Levels and Disparities Persist

CDC Releases Latest Blood Lead Data, Confirming that 535,000 Children Have High Levels and Disparities Persist. (Hard to Believe that CDC and Congress Cut the Funding, Isn’t It?)

Children belonging to families with a low income (130% of poverty level)  are more than three times as likely children in higher income families to have high blood lead levels. The mean blood lead level for low income children is 1.6 µg/dL,  or .6 µg/dL higher than children in higher income households (1.2 µg/dL ).  Medicaid-enrolled children also have higher blood lead levels, and are more likely to have high blood levels, than non-Medicaid enrolled children. Non-Hispanic black children are more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic white children to have BLLs at or above 5 µg/dL. The mean blood lead level for non-Hispanic black children  is 1.8 µg/dL, while non-Hispanic white children have a mean BLL  of 1.3 µg/dL. 

Title X Amendments Act of 2013

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the House version of the Title X Amendments Act of 2013 on March 20.  The eight original co-sponsors  who joined her are Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI),  Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Frederica Wilson (D-FL). The bill, H.R. 1232, is the companion to S.B. 290, which was  introduced in the Senate February 13th by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Al Franken (D-MN).

What Lead Poisoning Did to My Family - Part II

While lead poisoning is something my son Sean will live with for the rest of his life, the outcome could have been much worse had the local and state health departments not had the resources to help us. Without federal funding for both of these agencies, Sean would never have been tested for lead by a WIC nurse. Our home would not have been tested for lead-based paint in time to save us from an environmental hazard. There would not have been any nurse-related check ups and blood work schedules in place. We would not have been directed to AEA 267 to oversee my son’s education.

To put it simply, we might never have known that Sean was lead poisoned. Or worse, we might have lost him. We will forever be thankful to Mike Prideaux, the Black Hawk County Health Department Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and Rita Gergely, Iowa Department of Public Health who have been a huge part of our lives over these past nine years.


What Lead Poisoning Did to My Family - Part I

Nine years ago this coming June, our whole world changed. That summer, the company that my husband worked for closed it’s doors without any notice. Since my husband was a contractor, we did not qualify for unemployment. We went on WIC for one month just to help out during this time. During our meeting with the WIC nurses, they did a routine finger stick on both of my sons for lead levels. The next week, I received a call from Mike Prideaux of the Black Hawk County Health Department, telling me that my three year old son had lead poisoning. Sean’s blood lead level was 24—over twice the allowed level—and subsequently he needed to have a venous blood test to confirm it.

A few days later, I received another alarming phone call from the health department. Sean’s venous blood lead level was not 24 as the finger stick had shown, but was actually 40 – four times the allowed limit at that time! Sean had to start having routine blood work until he reached a blood lead level under 10 in back to back tests. I thought this might only take a few months, but little did I know it would take a total of four years.

ACCLPP Recommends Change in How CDC Determines Number Indicating a Child's Blood Lead Level

The Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (ACCLPP)* voted today to recommend a significant change in how CDC selects the number at which a child's blood lead level should be considered elevated, and to renew its call for primary prevention.


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