On January 5, the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, a federal panel, voted to recommend that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lower its threshold for lead poisoning in children, from 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to 5 micrograms.
Lead can harm a child’s brain, kidneys and other organs. It has been shown that even low levels in the blood can lower IQ, impair hearing, and cause behavioral problems. High levels in the blood can cause death. Children under 6 years old are especially at risk for lead poisoning as they are growing and developing so rapidly at that age.
More St. Louis Children May Have Elevated Lead Levels
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the rate of kids with elevated levels of lead, a high risk area, will go from 3 percent to 15 percent if this recommendation is adopted.
Contamination from lead can be caused by many sources, including peeling paint in older homes, batteries, toys, gasoline, and contaminated soil from mining waste. Gray Ritter Graham currently represents people in Herculaneum, Missouri, who live near the Doe Run Co. lead smelter and have been harmed by lead emissions from the plant. Children there have been shown to have elevated lead levels in their blood.
Steps to Prevent Lead Poisoning
To avoid potential lead contamination from the soil, parents should plant grass on areas of bare soil or cover the soil other ways, including mulch or wood chips. Until the bare soil is covered, parents should move play areas away from bare soil.
Parents should also keep their young children away from any peeling household paint, and make sure they regularly wash their hands after playing with toys.