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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Professional Resource Brief

Elevated levels of lead in the blood of infants and children have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its reference level of blood lead from 10 micrograms per deciliter to 5 micrograms per deciliter, lowering the point at which children are identified as having lead exposure and needing follow-up. The new lower value means that more children will likely be identified as having lead exposure, allowing parents, health professionals, public health officials, and communities to take action earlier to reduce children’s future exposure to lead. This brief provides selected resources for professionals and families.

Web Sites

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Center for Environmental Health: Lead
Prevention tips for parents; policy resources including legislation, policy statements, and tools; information on new (2012) recommendations on children’s blood-lead levels; data, statistics, and surveillance; publications, including lead-exposure case studies; tools and training materials; and information on the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention. Also see CDC’s Healthy Homes Initiative for funded programs in states, publications, tools and training materials, and environmental-justice activities.

Environmental Protection Agency: Lead
Information for consumers on lead hazards and protecting their families, guidance on evaluating paint hazards and lead-safe renovation for contractors and trainers, scientific information and lead research, lead laws and regulations; outreach materials, environmental justice grants and programs, and international programs. Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment
Description of services, including lead-screening services, required for infants, children and adolescents under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid.

MedlinePlus: Lead Poisoning
Overviews of lead poisoning; latest news; information about diagnosis, prevention, and clinical trials; and videos, fact sheets and patient handouts.

National Center for Healthy Housing: Lead
Health impacts of lead, sources, testing, prevention of lead exposure, regulation, state laws, and more. Includes Lead Links, a list of federal agencies that focus on lead, state agencies for lead-poisoning prevention; nonprofit agencies; and other research, training, and policy resources. Also see the center’s Guidebook for Developing State and Local Lead-Based Paint Enforcement Bench Books (2008) and Federal Lead-Based Paint Enforcement Bench Book (2009).

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control
Information on lead-programs enforcement, grants, policies and standards, training, and consumer materials. Also see the department’s Healthy Homes Program Guidance Manual (2012), which includes guidance, tools, and case studies, and Healthy Homes Partnership, a joint project with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Related Resources

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Environmental Health resource brief

For research articles from the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database, use this automated PubMed search for more articles on Lead Poisoning Prevention.

For more information on this topic, use the MCH Digital Library Advanced Search.

Author: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Digital Library
December 2012

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.