Issue Date: February 29, 2016
Congress members seek data on lead poisoning
The public health crisis in Flint, Mich., has spurred four high-ranking Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to ask health departments in seven states for information about efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning. Six of those states—Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania—are identified as having the nation’s highest reported numbers of children with blood lead levels at or above an actionable level. “These children are at risk for serious intellectual, behavioral, and academic deficits, with lifelong and irreversible consequences,” the lawmakers say in letters to those six states and Michigan. They ask state health officials to provide details about their lead poisoning prevention strategies, including use of federal funds for these efforts and data collection methods. The information would be used to better understand how data are collected and whether current federal investments are “up to the task of addressing this public health challenge” as well as to determine if additional resources are needed, the legislators add.
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