September 24, 2013
While we are heartened to see the continued decrease in the number of poisoning cases reported above 10ug/dL, it is clear there is much work to be done to educate the public on the impact of very low level poisoning and to debunk the myths about who is getting poisoned.
We continue to see an increasing number of children poisoned in homeowner occupied properties often due to unsafe renovation practices. We are hopeful that the new CDC guidelines, which affirm that there is no safe blood lead level in children, as well as the new legislation in Maryland that strengthens lead paint renovation standards help address this problem quickly. However, it is clear that new resources must be invested to ensure success.
We are concerned that the report from MDE still emphasizes lead exposure benchmarks at 10 ug/dL given the CDC has strongly recommended that all states move its reporting thresholds to 5 ug/dL. This becomes confusing for both families and the health care community.
In Baltimore, where blood lead testing is mandated and virtually every child is exposed to child care centers, homes and other buildings with significant lead hazards, only 33 percent of at-risk children were tested. It is important that the city, state and healthcare community develop improved systems to reach more children.
Few investments match the returns that lead poisoning prevention has shown, with a $1 investment yielding as much as $214 back to the US taxpayer. We must protect our most vulnerable children by focusing our efforts on eradicating this entirely preventable disease once and for all.
Click here to read the report.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact Beth Bingham, Communications Director, at 410-534-6447 for additional information or to speak with Ruth Ann Norton.