|LEAD Action News Volume
12 Number 3, May 2012, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
[URL: reprinted from http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/302817/1e7ea270ac/ARCHIVE]
Historic Shift in Lead Poisoning Prevention Policy
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) formally accepted the recommendations from its Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention to respond to lower level exposures and eliminate the term “level of concern”. The agency will now recommend follow-up for children with elevated blood lead levels above a reference value representing the top 2.5% of all children in the U.S. That level is currently 5 µg/dL but, the agency has agreed to update this every four years. This is the first substantive change in the agency’s guidance on blood lead levels since 1991.
Perry Gottesfeld, Executive Director of OK International said, “That CDC’s statement represents a historic shift that is long overdue.” He co-chaired the sub-committee that drafted these recommendations along with Dr. Deborah Cory-Slechta at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Gottesfeld said that “approximately 450,000 children in the U.S. have blood lead levels above this reference value, and we estimate that globally several hundred million children are suffering from higher exposures -- primarily in developing countries.
In a letter to the CDC on May 14, 27 members of Congress had urged the agency to disregard politics and budgetary constraints and adopt these recommendations. On May 16, 2012, the CDC published their official response to the Committee in which they concur in principle with all 13 recommendations. However, the budget for the agency’s childhood lead poisoning prevention program has been cut by 94% in the current fiscal year. CDC’s full response can be viewed here: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/ACCLPP/CDC_Response_Lead_Exposure_Recs.pdf
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