CDC lowers lead poisoning limit for children

May 23, 2012

Atlanta – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its definition of lead poisoning for children to 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood from the previous level of 10 micrograms, based on a recommendation (.pdf file) from its Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.

Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on children 1 to 5 years old to update the value for lead poisoning. Approximately 250,000 U.S. children have blood-lead levels above 10 micrograms and about 200,0000 children have blood-lead levels between 5 and 10 micrograms, according to CDC.

Young children may suffer from impaired hearing and negative behavioral outcomes from concentrations of lead lower than the previous standard, CDC said.