VT Health Department Urging Testing for Childhood Lead Poisoning

VT Health Department Urging Testing for Childhood Lead Poisoning

The Vermont Health Department is urging testing for childhood lead poisoning.
BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Vermont Health Department is urging testing for childhood lead poisoning.

The Health Department says a routine blood lead screening test should be done for all children at age 1 and again at age 2.

“Lead is a leading environmental health threat for children,” said Lori Cragin, VT Health Department’s Director of Environmental Health, said. “We’re working with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians to improve blood lead screening rates, and our 12 district offices are also working hard to encourage parents to make sure their children get screened.”

Lead testing rates for 1 and 2 year old children have increased. Testing rates for 1 year-olds increased from 80% in 2006 to 81% in 2012. In 2006, 44% of 2-year-olds were tested compared to 68% in 2012.

The Health Department says approximately 300 children are identified each year as having too-high levels of lead in their blood. Early detection and intervention is crucial to preventing life-long health effects.

Lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust are the main sources of poisoning. Children can also be exposed to lead from jewelry, key chains, zippers or other things that they touch or put into their mouths.

The Health Department says lead is an invisible threat, and it is common for children with unsafe blood-lead levels to show no obvious symptoms.

For more information and guidelines for blood lead screening for health care providers visit healthvermont.gov.
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