A federal advisory group to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called for a lower limit to be set for lead poisoning in children, after finding that children could be harmed by lead levels lower than the current limit.
The Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention of the CDC, reported Wednesday that the strategy of preventing lead poisoning should take greater precedence than it currently does, the Associated Press reports. The advisory group noted health effects at levels between 5 and 10 micrograms/dL, including cognitive dysfunction as well as cardiovascular and endocrine effects. The suggested limit would almost double the number of U.S. children diagnosed with lead poisoning.
According to the CDC, about 250,000 children in the U.S. between the ages of one and five years old, have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated. The lower limit would put that figure at approximately 450,000.
"The science has been indicating for some time that there may be no safe limit of lead for children—who are more vulnerable to it's toxicity," said Urvashi Rangan, Director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports. "A lower lead tolerance for children makes total sense."
The CDC has yet to weigh in on the federal advisory group's recommendations.