Below you’ll find a variety of helpful resources, research, and data about childhood lead poisoning prevention.
CDC now uses a blood lead reference value of 5 micrograms per deciliter to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher than most children’s levels. This new level is based on the U.S. population of children ages 1-5 years who are in the highest 2.5% of children when tested for lead in their blood.
The documents below refer to a blood-lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL) as the CDC level of concern for adverse health outcomes in children. This terminology is outdated and readers are referred to the ACCLPP recommendations of 2012 pdf icon[PDF – 168 KB].
- Egan KB, Cornwell CR, Courtney JG, Ettinger AS. Blood Lead Levels in U.S. Children Ages 1–11 Years, 1976–2016.external icon Environ Health Perspect. 2021; 129(3):1-11.
- Courtney JG, Chuke SO, Dyke K, Credle K, Lecours C, Egan KB, Leonard M. Decreases in Young Children Who Received Blood Lead Level Testing During COVID-19 — 34 Jurisdictions, January–May 2020. MMWR. 2021; 70(5):155-161.
- Cornwell CR, Egan KB, Zahran HS, Mirabelli MC, Hsu J, Chew GL. Associations of blood lead levels with asthma and blood eosinophils in US children.external icon Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2020; 31(6):695-699.
- Dignam T, Hodge J, Chuke S, Mercado C, Ettinger A, Flanders DW. Use of the CUSUM and Shewhart control chart methods to identify changes of public health significance using childhood blood lead surveillance data.external icon Environmental Epidemiology. 2020; 4(2):e090.
- Asburry A, Blatt M. Improving Childhood Lead Poisoning Surveillance and Data Management in Arizona Through an Evaluation of the Transition to a New Surveillance System.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S58-S62.
- Bressler JM, Yoder S, Cooper S, McLaughlin J. Blood Lead Surveillance and Exposure Sources Among Alaska Childrenexternal icon. J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S71-S75.
- Breysse PN. Lead Elimination for the 21st Century.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S3-S4.
- Bruce SA, Christensen KY, Coons MJ, Havlena JA, Meiman JG, Walsh RO. Using Medicaid Data to Improve Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Outcomes and Blood Lead Surveillance.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S51-S57.
- Caldwell KL, Cheng P-Y, Vance KA, Makhmudov A, Jarrett JM, Caudill SP, Ho D-P, Jones RL. Robert. LAMP: A CDC Program to Ensure the Quality of Blood-Lead Laboratory Measurements.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S23-S30.
- Cluett R, Fleisch A, Decker K, Frohmberg E, Smith AE. Findings of a Statewide Environmental Lead Inspection Program Targeting Homes of Children With Blood Lead Levels as Low as 5 μg/dL.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S76-S83.
- Dignam T, Kaufmann RB, LeStourgeon L, Brown MJ. Control of Lead Sources in the United States, 1970-2017: Public Health Progress and Current Challenges to Eliminating Lead Exposureexternal icon. J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S13-22.
- Egan KB, Tsai RJ, Chuke SO. Integrating Childhood and Adult Blood Lead Surveillance to Improve Identification and Intervention Efforts.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S98-S104.
- Ettinger AS, Leonard ML, Mason J. CDC’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: A Long-standing Responsibility and Commitment to Protect Children From Lead Exposure.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S5-S12.
- Ettinger AS, Ruckart PZ, Dignam T. Lead Poisoning Prevention: The Unfinished Agenda.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S1-S2
- Gettens GC, Drouin BB. Successfully Changing a State’s Climate to Increase Blood Lead Level Testing.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S31-S36.
- Haboush-Deloye A, Marquez E, Marshall M, Gerstenberger SL. Evaluation of the Blood Lead Screening Component of the Southern Nevada Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S37-S43.
- Hore P, Alex-Oni K, Sedlar S, Nagin, D. A Spoonful of Lead: A 10-Year Look at Spices as a Potential Source of Lead Exposure.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S63-S70.
- Lockamy-Kassim E, Friedberg J, Newby C, Lecours C, Credle K, Leonard M. Identifying and Chronicling Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Achievements With “Success Stories”.external icon Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S111-S114.
- Mason J, Ortiz D, Pappas S, Quigley S, Yendell S, Ettinger AS. Response to the US FDA LeadCare Testing Systems Recall and CDC Health Alert.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S91-S97.
- Ruckart PZ, Ettinger AS, Hanna-Attisha M, Jones N, Davis SI, Breysse PN. The Flint Water Crisis: A Coordinated Public Health Emergency Response and Recovery Initiative.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S84-S90.
- Trinh E, Mason J. Evaluation of the Implementation of CDC’s Health Alert Related to the FDA LeadCare Recall From the State Health Department Perspective.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S105-S110.
- Wang, Amy; Rezania, Zaynab; Haugen, Kathryn M. B.; Baertlein L, Yendell SJ. Screening for Elevated Blood Lead Levels: False-Positive Rates of Tests on Capillary Samples, Minnesota, 2011-2017.external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S44-S50.
- Whitehead LS, Buchanan SD. Childhood Lead Poisoning: A Perpetual Environmental Justice Issue?external icon J Public Health Manag Prac. 2019; 25(1 Supp):S115-S120.
- Raymond J, Brown MJ. Childhood Blood Lead Levels in Children Aged <5 Years — United States, 2007–2014. MMWR. 2017; 66:1-10.
- Kaufman JA, Brown MJ, Umar-Tsafe NT, Adbullah MB, Getso KI, Kaita IM, et al. Prevalence and risk factors of elevated blood lead in children in gold ore processing communities, Zamfara, Nigeria, 2012.external icon J Health Pollut. 2016; 6(11):2-8.
- Kennedy C, Yard E, Dignam T, Buchanan S, Condon S, Brown MJ, et al. Blood Lead Levels Among Children Aged <6 Years — Flint, Michigan, 2013–2016. MMWR. 2016; 65(25):650-4.
- Raymond J, Brown MJ. Childhood Blood Lead Levels — United States, 2007–2012. MMWR. 2015; 62(54);76-80.
- Basir M, Umar-Tsafe N, Getso K, Kaita IM, Nasidi A, Sani-Gwarzo N, et al. Assessment of blood lead levels among children aged ≤5 Years — Zamfara State, Nigeria, June–July 2012. MMWR. 2014; 63(15):325-7. [Brown MJ].
- Raymond J, Wheeler W, Brown MJ. Lead screening and prevalence of blood lead levels in children aged 1–2 years—Child Blood Lead Surveillance System, United States, 2002–2010 and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1999–2010 and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, United States, 1999–2010. MMWR. 2014; 63(Suppl 2).
- Thurtle N, Greig J, Cooney L, Amitai Y, Ariti C, Brown MJ, et al. Description of 3,180 courses of chelation with dimercaptosuccinic acid in children ≤5 y with severe lead poisoning in Zamfara, Northern Nigeria: A retrospective analysis of programme dataexternal icon. PLoS Med. 2014; 11(10):e1001739.
- CDC. Blood Lead Levels in Children Aged 1–5 Years — United States, 1999–2010. MMWR. 2013; 62(13):245-248.
- CDC. Infant Lead Poisoning Associated with Use of Tiro, an Eye Cosmetic from Nigeria – Boston, Massachusetts, 2011. MMWR. 2012; 61(30):574-576.
- CDC. Lead Poisoning in Pregnant Women Who Used Ayurvedic Medications from India — New York City, 2011–2012. MMWR. 2012; 61(33):641-646.
- CDC. Take-Home Lead Exposure Among Children with Relatives Employed at a Battery Recycling Facility — Puerto Rico, 2011. MMWR. 2012; 61(47):967-970.
- Dooyema CA, Neri A, Lo Y-C, Durant J, Dargan PI, Swarthout T, et al. Outbreak of fatal childhood lead poisoning related to artisanal gold mining in northwestern Nigeria, 2010external icon. Environ Health Perspect. 2012; 120:601-607.
- Lo Y-C, Dooyema CA, Neri A, Durant J, Jefferies T, Medina-Marino A, et al. Childhood lead poisoning associated with gold ore processing: a village-level investigation—Zamfara State, Nigeria, October–November 2010external icon. Environ Health Perspect. 2012; 120:1450-1455.
- CDC. CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report – United States, 2011 pdf icon[PDF – 3.01 MB]. MMWR. 2011; 60(Suppl):1-116.
- CDC. Lead Poisoning of a Child Associated with Use of a Cambodian Amulet — New York City, 2009. MMWR. 2011; 60(03):69-71.
- Evaluation and Recommendations for Preventing Lead Poisoning among the Internally Displaced Roma Population in Kosovo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) pdf icon[PDF – 89 KB]
– This is a report of the status of identification and clinical care of the children who are less than 6 years old and have been relocated. The report contains recommendations for next steps to be taken in addressing the needs of these children.
- CDC. Notes from the Field: Outbreak of Acute Lead Poisoning Among Children Aged <5 Years — Zamfara, Nigeria, 2010. MMWR. 2010; 59(27):846.
- U.S. Geological Survey. Helping to Understand a Lead Poisoning Outbreak in Nigeria.external icon GeoHealth Newsletter. Winter 2010/2011; 8(2).
- CDC. Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Related to Home Renovation, Repair, and Painting Activities — New York State, 2006–2007. MMWR. 2009; 58(03):55-58.
- Iqbal S, Blumenthal W, Kennedy C, Yip FY, Pickard S, Flanders WD, Loringer K, Kruger K, Caldwell KL, Jean Brown M. Hunting with lead: association between blood lead levels and wild game consumption.external icon Environ Res. 2009; 109(8):952-9.
- CDC. Deaths Associated with Hypocalcemia from Chelation Therapy—Texas, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, 2003–2005. MMWR. 2006; 55(8):204-207.
- CDC. Death of a Child After Ingestion of a Metallic Charm—Minnesota, 2006. MMWR. 2006; 55(12):340-341.
- CDC. Blood Lead Levels—United States, 1999–2002. MMWR. 2005; 54(20):513-516.
- CDC. Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Refugee Children—New Hampshire, 2003–2004. MMWR. 2005; 54(2):42-46.
Erratum: Vol. 54, No. 2 MMWR. 2005; 54(3):76.
- CDC. Lead Exposure from Indoor Firing Ranges Among Students on Shooting Teams — Alaska, 2002–2004. MMWR. 2005; 54(23):577-579.
- Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] (2005) – This is the fifth revision of the statement on Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This revision accompanies a companion document, developed by the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention which reviews the scientific evidence for adverse effects in children at blood lead levels below 10 µg/dL.
- CDC. Blood Lead Levels in Residents of Homes with Elevated Lead in Tap Water—District of Columbia, 2004. MMWR. 2004; 53(12):268-270. Addendum: Following the release of the MMWR, “Blood Lead Levels in Residents of Homes with Elevated Lead in Tap Water — District of Columbia, 2004”, some reports have suggested erroneously that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that lead in residential tap water at concentrations as high as 300 parts per billion is ‘safe’. CDC would like to reiterate the key message from the 2004 article that because no threshold for adverse health effects in young children has been demonstrated (no safe blood level has been identified), all sources of lead exposure for children should be controlled or eliminated. Lead concentrations in drinking water should be below the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action level of 15 parts per billion. Read more about Lead in Drinking Water
- CDC. Brief Report: Lead Poisoning from Ingestion of a Toy Necklace—Oregon, 2003. MMWR. 2004; 53(23):509-511.
- CDC. Childhood Lead Poisoning from Commercially Manufactured French Ceramic Dinnerware—New York City, 2003. MMWR. 2004; 53(26):584-586.
- CDC. Lead Poisoning Associated with Ayurvedic Medications—Five States, 2000–2003. MMWR. 2004; 53(26):582-584.
- CDC. Surveillance for Elevated Blood Lead Levels Among Children – United States, 1997–2001. MMWR. 2003; 52(SS-10):1-21. [PDF – 333 KB]
- CDC. Childhood Lead Poisoning Associated with Tamarind Candy and Folk Remedies—California, 1999–2000. MMWR. 2002; 51(31):684-686.
- CDC. Fatal Pediatric Lead Poisoning—New Hampshire, 2000. MMWR. 2001; 50(22):457-459.
- CDC. Occupational and Take-Home Lead Poisoning Associated With Restoring Chemically Stripped Furniture—California, 1998. MMWR. 2001; 50(13):246-248.
- CDC. Trends in blood lead levels among children—Boston, Massachusetts, 1994–1999. MMWR. 2001; 50(17):337-339.
- CDC. Blood Lead Levels in Young Children—United States and Selected States, 1996–1999. MMWR. 2000; 49(50):1133-1137.
- **CDC. Elevated Blood Lead Levels Among Internationally Adopted Children—United States, 1998. MMWR. 2000; 49(5):97-100.
- CDC. Lead Poisoning Associated with Imported Candy and Powdered Food Coloring—California and Michigan. MMWR. 1998; 47(48):1041-1043
- CDC. Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Attributed to Home Renovation and Remodeling Activities–New York, 1993-1994. MMWR. 1997; 45(51&52):1120-1123.
- CDC. Update: Blood Lead Levels—United States, 1991–1994. MMWR. 1997; 46(7):141.
Erratum: Vol. 46, No. 7 MMWR. 1997; 46(26):607
- CDC. Targeted Screening for Childhood Lead Exposure in a Low Prevalence Area—Salt Lake County, Utah, 1995–1996. MMWR. 1997; 46(10):213-217.
- CDC. Blood Lead Levels Among Children in a Managed-Care Organization—California, October 1992–March 1993. MMWR. 1995; 44(34):627-629, 635.
- CDC. Blood Lead Levels Among Children—Rhode Island, 1993–1995. MMWR. 1995; 44(42):788-791.
- CDC. Lead Poisoning Associated with Use of Traditional Ethnic Remedies—United States. MMWR. 1993; 42(27):521-524.
- Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children (1991)** – The fourth revision of the statement on Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children by the Centers for Disease Control.
- Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children pdf icon[PDF – 4 MB] (1985) ** – The second revision of the statement on Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children pdf icon[PDF – 4 MB] ** – The first revision of the statement on Increased Lead Absorption and Lead Poisoning in Young Children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Increase Lead Absorption and Lead Poisoning in Young Children pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] (1975) ** – A statement on Lead Poisoning in Young Children by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
** These documents are being kept on this website for historical purposes and are no longer in print.