Over a million kids in the US have lead poisoning — We’re only treating half of them

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❝ We’ve long known that despite all our efforts to clean up lead, we have a serious problem with lead poisoning in American children — it’s an egregious and preventable public health issue that just won’t go away.

And it seems the problem is even worse than we thought. Researchers at the Public Health Institute reported…in the journal Pediatrics that the overall number of children with elevated blood lead levels as of 1999-2000 in the US was 1.2 million, or double what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported. (The number is likely even higher now, since testing rates have…declined since 2000.) These kids who are never tested or reported to the CDC also aren’t receiving treatment.

❝ Some states are doing much worse than others, according to the researchers. In the 11 states in dark blue on the map below, including Arizona and Florida, more than 80 percent of children with lead poisoning were not tested by their pediatricians or local health departments. For the other 28 states with data (in medium and light blue), anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of lead-poisoned children weren’t tested.

As for the 12 states in gray, researchers were unable to determine how many cases of lead poisoning were missed, because these states don’t share any data with the CDC…

Perish the thought these turd-brains Americans persist in electing and re-electing actually do something modern about healthcare legislation. Like make it uniform and nationwide. Require states to participate and provide information.

❝ What researchers have learned in recent years is that no level of lead is safe for children. Studies have even shown lead concentration in the blood as low as 2 micrograms per deciliter of blood (μg/dL) can lower IQ in children. And once children have blood lead levels of 5 μg/dL and above (what’s now considered lead poisoning), they can suffer severe neurological damage in the form of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders.

❝ How did the counting of lead-poisoned children get so bad? For one, testing for lead is not legally required in most of the US…And…public health departments aren’t asking if there’s missing data when they turn things over to the CDC…

❝ Civil engineers have estimated that overhauling America’s drinking water system and bringing it up to code will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, but if these investments aren’t made, we risk continuing to poison children with dangerous levels of lead.

Not that this is a priority for Congressional politicians whose single most pressing task — Republican or Democrat – is raising sufficient funds for re-election.

2 thoughts on “Over a million kids in the US have lead poisoning — We’re only treating half of them

  1. Update says:

    Flint’s lead-poisoned water had a ‘horrifyingly large’ effect on fetal deaths, study finds (Washington Post 9/21/17) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/09/21/flints-lead-poisoned-water-had-a-horrifyingly-large-effect-on-fetal-deaths-study-finds/
    At the end of 2016, 10 percent of Flint homes still had lead concentrations of 12 parts per billion or higher in their water, three times the level observed in Detroit. Although the EPA threshold for safe drinking water is 15 parts of lead per billion, according to the World Health Organization “there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.”
    Flint, according to 2016 Census estimates, is 53 percent African American. In addition, 45 percent of Flint’s residents live in poverty, and census data released last week showed that it is the nation’s poorest city.
    Meanwhile Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, the highest ranking government employee charged criminally in connection with an investigation into the Flint water crisis, is in the midst of a court hearing that will determine if his case proceeds to trial. Lyon faces two felonies: involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office. http://www.bostonherald.com/news/national/2017/09/michigan_official_faces_key_hearing_in_flint_water_case

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