Lead Level In Children Lowered

Article Courtesy of USA Today

Lead can interfere with the developing nervous system and cause permanent problems with learning, memory and behavior. Children in poor neighborhoods have generally been more at risk because they tend to live in older housing and in industrial areas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, the number of U.S. children with high lead levels decreased 84% from 1988 to 2004 (the latest data available), from almost 9% to 1.4%. Researchers credit the decline to aggressive efforts to reduce children’s exposure to lead in old house paint, soil, water and other sources. The new study, based on surveys of nearly 5,000 children, is in the March issue of Pediatrics.

—By Michelle Healy from staff and wire reports