Local professor urges elimination of children’s lead poisoning by 2021

A local professor and an alliance of health professionals and scientists are calling for national leaders to help eliminate lead poisoning in children by 2021.

Dr. Aimin Chen, associate professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, along with researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Simon Fraser University, said that “fully protecting children from lead now and in future generations is eminently doable.”

An alliance of leading scientists, health professionals and children’s health advocates, known as Project TENDR, issued a call this week for national goals necessary to eliminate lead poisoning.

“We want to reduce exposure so that by 2021 there is no child with blood lead levels above 5 microgram/deciliter which is the current reference limit set by the Centers for Disease Control,” Chen said. Currently about 2.5 percent of U.S. children between ages 1 and 5 still have blood lead levels above that. Some may say that lead is already low or that we are pushing for too much, but, lead is entirely toxic, period.”

Recent research shows that even low levels of lead in a child’s blood can harm brain development, leading to learning disabilities, lowered IQ and attention disorders. Read the article in the the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics


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• Does your community have lead pipes?

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• What you should know about lead pipes, water quality

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