CDC Call for Papers for a Potential Pediatrics Supplement

A group of happy children of all ethnicities running together in a grassy park on a sunny day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requests submission of manuscripts for a potential supplemental issue of Pediatrics entitled:

The Impact of Lead Exposure on Children and Adolescents: Current Updates

Anticipated Publication Date: October 2024

Guest Editors: Tanya Telfair LeBlanc, Ph.D., Arthur Chang, M.D., Erik Svendsen, Ph.D., and Paul Allwood, Ph.D.

Lead exposure is a continuing public health concern, with many missed opportunities for prevention. Current lead exposures remain too high among certain populations at higher risk. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even small amounts of lead in the body such as in the brain and nervous system can cause serious health problems. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. Children younger than 6 years old are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning and can experience severe symptoms, such as damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.

The Flint water crisis demonstrated the seriousness of lead exposure in 2015 and reintroduced lead to public discourse. Lead can be found in a variety of sources, including in lead-based plumbing, soil contaminated by old deposits of leaded gasoline, decaying paint from buildings built before 1978, and around crumbling industrial sites like lead smelters. Lead can be inhaled in dust particles or in fumes from burning wood painted with lead-based paint. New sources of lead exposure have emerged with climate change, infrastructure replacement and redesign and, increasingly, with global trade with developing countries such as in Asia and Africa. Some cookware, food products, toys and toy jewelry, cosmetics, spices, folk remedies, and antiques may also contain or be contaminated with lead.

Other sources of exposure include lead used in arts and crafts, take-home lead from jobs using lead products and from firearms, ammunition, and fishing tackle. These and other potential sources of lead continue to pose public health risks.

The specific focus of this supplement is the impact of lead exposure on children and adolescents, in the short and long terms. A social justice perspective supports our concept, acknowledging that social and economic status frequently determine lead exposure outcomes for marginalized populations.

Desired topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Accurate estimates of how many children and adolescents are exposed to lead annually in the United States
  • Empirical data demonstrating the impact of lead on cognitive impairment, academic performance, or behavioral difficulties of children and adolescents
  • Challenges in testing children and adolescents for lead exposure in pediatric practices and public health programs
  • Strategies used in the field to reduce cognitive impairment of lead-exposed children
  • Empirical data demonstrating the link between lead exposure in children and behavioral challenges in adolescence, including teen pregnancy, truancy, substance use, or interaction with the criminal justice system
  • Perspectives from parents of children and adolescents exposed to lead or educators working with children exposed to lead
  • Insights from behavioral scientists and applied behavioral interventions
  • Successes and challenges in implementation of services to lead-exposed young people and their families
  • Input from state, tribal, local and territorial lead exposure prevention programs
  • Expansion of lead testing to broader swaths of the population
  • Quality-improvement activities to decrease lead exposure, screen those who may have been exposed, or provide follow-up care to those who need it
  • Studies of primary prevention of lead exposure

We encourage submission of manuscripts in the following categories:

  • Reports of original research and clinical research
  • Commentaries
  • Family partnerships
  • Case reports

When preparing a manuscript for Pediatrics, authors must first determine the manuscript type and then prepare the manuscript according to the specific instructions found at this web page:

We encourage submission of papers presenting lessons learned in field implementation and work providing insight for policy makers. Our goal is advancing the growing discipline of lead exposure science, evaluation, and applied clinical research. All manuscripts will be first assessed for quality standards and consistency with our content concept.

Selected manuscripts will be peer reviewed and subject to a final review by the Pediatrics editorial staff for publication approval. Submission does not guarantee publication.

Deadline for Submission of Manuscripts: October 30, 2023

Submit Manuscripts to: and indicate “Pediatrics Supplement” in the subject line.

For questions, please contact Dr. Tanya Telfair LeBlanc at

The findings and conclusion on this web page have not been formally disseminated by CDC/ATSDR and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.