The blood reference value for children has been updated

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its blood lead reference (BLRV) from 5 µg / dL to 3.5 µg / dL in response to the recommendation of the Lead Prevention and Exposure Advisory Committee (LEPAC). , made on May 14, 2021. BLRV is designed to identify children with higher levels of lead in the blood than most children, based on 97.5you percentile of the distribution of blood lead levels (BLL) in children in the United States aged 1-5 years.

No level of lead is safe, and yet more than half of the children in our nation are at risk of exposure to lead, often in their own homes. Today’s CDC reminds parents how important it is for parents to ask their child’s doctor for an early blood lead test so that parents can take steps to protect them from the toxic and irreversible effects of lead exposure. “

Xavier Besera, Minister of Health and Human Services

Based on the CDC’s updated BLRV, federal partners, health departments, health care providers, and others are encouraged to focus resources on children with the highest BLLs compared to most children in the United States aged 1-5, so that they can to take faster action to 1) reduce their levels, 2) mitigate health effects and 3) identify and eliminate sources of exposure.

“Exposure to lead at all levels is harmful to children and can be detrimental to their long-term health,” said CDC Acting Deputy Director General Debra Howry, MD, MPH. “Protecting the health and well-being of children as they grow and develop is crucial, and I am convinced that this update will allow us to further protect the health of the next generation.”

Despite the overall decline in BLL, lead exposure remains a significant public health problem for some children due to the persistent dangers of lead in the environment. Lead sources include homes contaminated with lead-based paint, soil contaminated with historical lead sources, including gasoline and activities such as lead mining or smelting, leaded drinking water lines, and lead in domestic plumbing materials. Children can also be exposed to lead by ingesting contaminated candy and food packaging; certain folk remedies, cultural products and consumer products; and lead dust that caregivers can bring home on their clothes from their workplaces.

Non-Hispanic black or African-American children, those living in low-income households, and those who are immigrants or refugees are more likely to live in communities where lead is widespread. By updating the BLRV, the CDC continues its commitment to health equity by seeking to protect children who are at higher risk of lead exposure. No safe BLL has been identified in children and it has been shown that even low levels of lead in the blood affect learning and academic achievement, and some effects may even be permanent. Preventing exposure before it happens is essential, and if caught early, there are steps that parents, health care providers, communities and others can take to prevent further exposure and reduce health damage. child’s.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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