Getting the Lead Out
Most lead poisoning cases occur in substandard housing units, especially those with window frames still coated with lead-based paint banned since 1978. Families in dwellings built before 1950 should also be vigilant about lead. The Consumer Products Safety Commission cautions that home lead test kits sold online and at hardware stores may not be reliable enough to identify and remove sources of exposure. Professional contractors offer more accurate results.
Children exhibiting blood lead levels above the new threshold are usually monitored, rather than treated with medications that carry serious risks. Once lead sources are removed, children’s blood lead levels typically return to a more normal range within weeks.
The CDC confirms that rather than remedial treatment, the primary goal should be making sure children aren’t exposed to lead in the first place. Fortunately, the levels of most of America’s youngest children today are well below the revised action point, with average blood lead content of 1.8 micrograms, while school-age children, teenagers and adults face little risk.