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Am J Public Health. 2003 Aug;93(8):1253-60.

Should the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's childhood lead poisoning intervention level be lowered?

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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1991 chose 10 micro g/dL as an initial screening level for lead in children's blood. Current data on health risks and intervention options do not support generally lowering that level, but federal lead poisoning prevention efforts can be improved by revising the follow-up testing schedule for infants aged 1 year or less with blood lead levels of 5 micro g/dL or higher; universal education about lead exposure risks; universal administration of improved, locally validated risk-screening questionnaires; enhanced compliance with targeted screening recommendations and federal health program requirements; and development by regulatory agencies of primary prevention criteria that do not use the CDC's intervention level as a target "safe" lead exposure.

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