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A Lower Standard for Lead Poisoning

Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Nasima Hossain
For Immediate Release

U.S. PIRG Applauds the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Nasima Hossain

“U.S. PIRG applauds the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their important decision to protect the safety and well-being of our littlest consumers: children. The Panel recommended the government lower the threshold of lead in blood that qualifies as lead poisoning in children.

“This is a significant breakthrough in protecting children from lead. Lead is a toxic substance that can cause IQ deficits, hyperactivity and deficits in vocabulary and fine motor skills. At high levels lead can cause permanent brain damage and death.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not reduced the standard for lead poisoning in children in over 20 years. Currently 10 micrograms of lead per dL of blood is considered lead poisoning. The new standard would lower the level to 5 micrograms per dL of blood. Recognizing lead poisoning at this lower level will protect thousands of children around the country. The Panel estimates that nearly half a million children in the U.S. suffer from lead poisoning at the level of 5 micrograms per dL of blood.

“We urge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to accept this recommendation. By tightening standards for lead poisoning, we will be taking a huge step forward in protecting children from this dangerous toxin.”

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U.S. PIRG serves as the Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups. PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy groups that take on powerful interests on behalf of their members.

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