Elevated Blood Lead Level Rates: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
- Allegheny County
- Lead is a neurotoxin commonly found in our daily lives. While lead has been eliminated from gasoline, household paint, and solder, you can still be exposed to lead from many different sources including dust containing lead from pre-1978 lead paint, paint chips, contaminated soils, water, ceramic plates, bowls, and glasses, and imported candy, toys, cosmetics, and jewelry Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated that no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, academic achievement, and other behavioral issues. As of January 1, 2018, Allegheny County requires every child under age six to be tested for lead exposure. The first of two tests will be conducted when a child is approximately 9-12 months old, and the second test will take place around the child's second birthday. According to the Allegheny County Health Department, 53% of County children born in 2016 were tested for lead between the ages of nine to 12 months. This share has risen from 30% of County children born in 2009. Children are initially tested with a capillary, or "finger prick" blood test. If an elevated level of lead is found, a venous blood test will be administered to confirm the result. For more information on the testing methods, please see the Allegheny County Health Department's Lead Exposure in Allegheny County report, released in September, 2018.
- Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center
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- Pennsylvania State University