If your child has a detectable level of lead in his or her blood, you should be concerned.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lowered its actionable level from 10 micrograms to five. That means that health care providers, or public health officials, should take action to identify the source and reduce ongoing exposures if a child has blood levels of 5 micrograms or more.
According to experts, the new threshold means that an additional 200,000 children are at risk of lead poisoning.
Of course, the new threshold doesn't mean that those same children weren't at risk previously. It means that federal authorities have caught up to the science. Experts like Heart of Green Award winner Dr. Philip Landrigan have warned for years that any amount of blood puts children at risk of permanent brain damage, leading to effects like lowered IQ, learning disabilities or even violent behavior. Harmful exposure can occur to children, or to pregnant women, whose bodies carry documented levels of harmful chemicals; exposure often comes from home renovations.
"There is no safe lead level," Landrigan told the Huffington Post. "Lead is toxic to the developing brain, even at low levels."
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