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QuickStats: Percentage* of Children Aged 1–5 Years with Elevated Blood Lead Levels, by Race/Ethnicity§ — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1988–1994, 1999–2006, and 2007–2014


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The figure above is a bar chart showing that from 1988–1994 to 2007–2014, the percentage of children aged 1–5 years with blood lead levels ≥5 μg/dL declined from 25.6% to 1.9%. Blood lead levels fell dramatically for all racial and ethnic groups. Despite the decline, in 2007–2014, non-Hispanic black children (4.0%) aged 1–5 years were twice as likely as non-Hispanic white children (1.9%) and more than three times as likely as Mexican American children (1.1%) to have elevated blood lead levels.

* With 95% confidence intervals represented by error bars.

CDC currently uses ≥5 µg/dL as a reference level to identify children with elevated blood lead levels (http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/ACCLPP/Final_Document_030712.pdf).

§ Totals include data for racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.

From 1988–1994 to 2007–2014, the percentage of children aged 1–5 years with blood lead levels ≥5 μg/dL declined from 25.6% to 1.9%. Blood lead levels fell dramatically for all racial and ethnic groups. Despite the decline, in 2007–2014, non-Hispanic black children (4.0%) aged 1–5 years were twice as likely as non-Hispanic white children (1.9%) and more than three times as likely as Mexican American children (1.1%) to have elevated blood lead levels.

Source: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/index.htm.


Reported by: Sheila J. Franco, sfranco@cdc.gov, 301-458-4331; Kara Koehrn, Environmental Protection Agency, koehrn.kara@epa.gov; Daniel Axelrad, Environmental Protection Agency, axelrad.daniel@epa.gov.

Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Percentage of Children Aged 1–5 Years with Elevated Blood Lead Levels, by Race/Ethnicity — National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1988–1994, 1999–2006, and 2007–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1089. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6539a9.

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