Early in January of this year a U.S. advisory panel—the Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention—submitted a report to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with a recommendation to lower the threshold for lead toxicity in children.

Currently, the standard limit for lead poisoning is 10 µg/dL (micrograms per deciliter) of blood. The panel is recommending this limit be lowered to 5 µg/dL. The recommendation comes 20 years after the last recommended lowering. “It’s long overdue. This is science that’s been out there,” stated Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning.

If the CDC adopts the recommended new standard, up to one million more children would be diagnosed with lead poisoning, up from the current 250,000. This astonishes me! Basically, there are ¾ of a million children out there right now who have lead poisoning that is not even recognized as such by conventional medical standards. This is maddening.

Rosen goes on to say, “It’s about time for CDC to move from its definition of childhood lead poisoning of 10 [micrograms per deciliter of blood] to 5. Ten was established 20 years ago and there are at least 20 articles which demonstrate unequivocally that there are adverse effects of lead on IQ and intellectual and cognitive development at blood levels between 5 and 9.”

The most common source of lead exposure is from lead paint and lead pipes in homes built before 1978. Dust and paint chips from old paint, as well as water from lead pipes, can contribute a significant amount of lead.

If you or someone you know (especially children) have been tested for lead and fall between 5 and 10 µ/dL, please don’t consider this as a safe lead level. If you haven’t been tested, and you live in a home built before 1978, get tested. For the full report, click here.