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Childhood Lead Poisoning

Childhood lead poisoning is preventable. With less lead in the environment, lead poisonings have decreased and become less severe. However, lead poisoning still occurs.

In the United States, the major source of lead exposure among children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in older buildings. Children under the age of 6 years are at risk for lead poisoning because they tend to put their hands or other objects into their mouths. Children can be exposed to lead by eating lead-based paint chips, chewing on objects painted with lead-based paint, or swallowing house dust or soil that contains lead.

No safe level of lead exposure has been identified. However, CDC recommends public health interventions when a child’s blood lead level (BLL) is greater than 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (µg/dL).

Learn more about childhood lead poisoning and prevention.


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