Pennsylvania Department of Health encouraging parents to test children for lead poisoning

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is encouraging parents to get their children’s blood lead levels tested during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

“Lead is not natural to the human body and even low levels in children have a lasting impact. The only way to identify exposure is by testing the blood,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “That is why as a pediatrician, I urge all families to have their children tested for lead exposure, per CDC recommendations. Early identification can prevent the most serious effects, so all children can reach their full potential.”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the most common cause of lead exposure in kids is from lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. They can also be exposed through toys, ceramics, other consumer products and drinking water when it flows through older lead plumbing or pipes where lead solder has been used.

Earlier this year, the Department of Health published its sixteenth annual Childhood Lead Surveillance Annual Report. The data says that in 2021, 156,018 children under 72 months of age were tested for lead exposure and 4,850 were confirmed to have elevated blood lead levels.

The learn more information on lead poisoning prevention, testing, follow-up and local resources, call 1-800-440-LEAD.

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