CDC updates blood lead reference value for children
Oct 29, 2021
As recommended by its advisory committee on preventing lead exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reduced the blood lead reference value for children from 5 micrograms per deciliter to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter to reflect declining blood lead levels in U.S. children aged 1-5. The agency recommends that clinicians and public health professionals collaborate to develop screening plans that focus screening efforts on neighborhoods and children at high risk based on age of housing and sociodemographic risk factors.
“In the absence of such plans, universal [blood lead level] testing is recommended,” CDC said. “In addition, jurisdictions should follow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirement that all Medicaid-enrolled children be tested at ages 12 and 24 months or at age 24-72 months if they have not previously been screened.”