After the banishment of lead from paint and gasoline back in the early 1970s, the effort in the United States to test for lead contamination began to decline. This was because it was believed that paint and other sources of lead were no longer being manufactured and that the number of people and children becoming contaminated with lead would also decline.
However, recent studies have steered many of the pediatric health care providers in the US to believe that not enough testing for lead is being performed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 38 states, along with the District of Columbia, reported elevated levels of lead in the blood of children from 1990 to 2010. Yet, the number of children reported to have above average levels of lead in their systems was far below expectations.
Effects on Children
The undercounting of children who may have elevated levels of lead in their bodies is not only concerning because they are not getting the proper treatment, but also because the sources of the lead is not being discovered and eliminated. This undercounting is causing concerns that many sources of lead may still be contributing to the elevated levels found in children across the US.
Children are at a significantly higher risk for lead poisoning because it affects the brain and nervous system, stunts growth and development, leads to behavior and learning issues, and causes physical problems with speech and hearing. It affects nearly every system in the body, and no amount of lead is safe in children.
Lack of Proper Testing
Although testing for lead is performed in every state, how they do it varies considerably, which affects the accurate counting of the children who may have elevated levels in their systems. It appears that many children are not being counted or overlooked in the testing for the presence of lead.
There is a mandatory requirement for all children who are in Medicaid to get tested for the presence of lead, but in most cases, it does not happen. In some states, it means that over half the children who may have lead poisoning are not being found. One issue is that the lack of findings leads to lapses of testing. For example, because more testing for lead poisoning is being done in certain areas of the country, the results lead people to believe that that’s where most lead poisoning is occurring, which is not true.
How Brickley Environmental Can Help
At Brickley Environmental, we offer the best in lead detection, abatement services, and removing from your property so that it no longer poses a threat. We use the latest, proven techniques to detect the presence of lead and remove it from the site so that it does not harm children or adults.