Screening for elevated blood lead levels

Ruth A. Etzel, Sophie J. Balk, Cynthia F. Bearer, Mark D. Miller, Michael W. Shannon, Katherine M. Shea, Henry Falk, Lynn R. Goldman, Robert W. Miller, Walter Rogan, Barbara Coven, Birt Harvey, Peter Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


Although recent data continue to demonstrate a decline in the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in children, lead remains a common, preventable, environmental health threat. Because recent epidemiologic data have shown that lead exposure is still common in certain communities in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new guidelines endorsing universal screening in areas with ≤27% of housing built before 1950 and in populations in which the percentage of 1- and 2- year-olds with elevated BLLs is ≤12%. For children living in other areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends targeted screening based on risk-assessment during specified pediatric visits. In this statement, The American Academy of Pediatrics supports these new guidelines and provides an update on screening for elevated BLLs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians continue to provide anticipatory guidance to parents in an effort to prevent lead exposure (primary prevention). Additionally, pediatricians should increase their efforts to screen children at risk for lead exposure to find those with elevated BLLs (secondary prevention).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1072-1078
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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