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CDC Encourages Blood Test Among Children If They Are Exposed To Lead

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During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), celebrated from October 25-31, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to test blood lead levels in children.

Every year, CDC together with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other public and private partners, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is observed to spread awareness about the hazards of lead poisoning aiming at reducing childhood exposure to lead.

The themes of this year's NLPPW include, "Get the facts, Get your home tested, and Get your child tested."

The main sources of lead poisoning are lead-based paints and lead-contaminated dust from older buildings. About 3.6 million families are at the risk of lead poisoning from lead-based paints, CDC pointed out.

Children from lower income families living in old homes constructed before 1978 with original leaded paint are at the highest risk.

According to CDC, the toxic effects of lead exposure are irreversible and even low levels of blood lead in children affect their IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.

"Testing blood lead levels is the best way to tell if a child has been exposed to lead poisoning. As states develop plans for reopening following the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers are encouraged to work with families to bring children up to date with testing. Children covered by Medicaid are eligible for free testing," CDC said in a statement.

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