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A Hidden Problem: Lead-Poisoned Children in the United States

2017

Explore the study findings with interactive maps from PHI's California Environmental Health Tracking Progra

How many children in the United States suffer from lead poisoning? A new PHI study shows that the numbers of lead-poisoned children may be much higher than previously reported.

Using new analytical methods, PHI's California Environmental Health Tracking Program estimated that during 1999 - 2000, most states may have missed more than half of their lead-poisoned children, finding only 2 out of every 3 children poisoned by lead.  

The study found states where more than 80% of lead-poisoned children could remain unidentified—and researchers expect that testing rates have only declined in the subsequent years. The findings suggest that recent lead poisoning estimates that are based solely on clinical data are too low, and that without swift and decisive action, many lead-poisoned children will remain undiagnosed. 

 

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Authors:

Eric M. Roberts, Daniel Madrigal, Jhaqueline Valle, Galatea King, Linda Kite

Produced through PHI's:

California Environmental Health Tracking Program