CDC Lowers Childhood Lead Level Recommendation

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For the first time in 20 years the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has updated the recommended Lead Level Limits in children. The revised standard is a 50% reduction to 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. The new standard is focused on the lead levels in the highest 2.5% of children according to Dr. Christopher Portier, Director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

Dr. Portier said that the approach is to focus on prevention rather than lead poisoning, rather than treatment after the fact. These levels will be revisited every four years as no lead level is considered safe in children and many of the consequences of early lead exposure are irreversible. The adverse effects include neurodevelopmental, cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects.

The number one cause of lead poisoning in children under the age of six is remodeling, repair and painting of older homes. Lead was commonly used in paint prior to being banned by the EPA in 1978. All contractors, property management personnel, maintenance staff and anyone else who disturbs paint in any pre-1978 residential housing unit or child-occupied facility is required to be a Lead Certified Renovator. Fines for violators can be as much as $37,500 per violation / per day. Companies are also required to register as a Certified Firm with the EPA prior to performing any work that disturbs lead based paint.

For information on Lead Certified Renovator Training go to