CDC: Blood lead levels testing in young children decreased during COVID-19

CDC: Blood lead levels testing in young children decreased during COVID-19
Lead is toxic and can cause severe effects in children including decreased ability to learn, permanent neurologic damage, organ failure and death. (Source: KEYC)

(KFVS) - Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) findings show that there has been significant decreases in testing of blood lead levels (BLL) in young children during COVID-19.

Lead is toxic and can cause severe effects in children including decreased ability to learn, permanent neurologic damage, organ failure and death.

The CDC reviewed data reported from 34 state and local health departments, including the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), from January to May 2019 and from January to May 2020, on BLL testing among children under age 6 .

They found that testing decreased by 34%, or 480,172 children, in January to May 2020 when compared with the same testing date range in 2019.

The CDC estimated that around 9,603 children with elevated BLL were missed.

IDPH reported a 37% decrease in BLL testing from 2019 to 2020.

The state documented a decline in testing in February after a 5% increase in testing from January 2019 to 2020.

In April, 5,760 children were tested in 2020 compared with 21,269 in 2019.

That is a 73% decrease.

The good news is Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Infographic gives steps to make your home lead-safe.
The good news is Lead poisoning is 100% preventable. Infographic gives steps to make your home lead-safe. (Source: National Center for Environmental Health)

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