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CDC 24/7 - Saving Lives - Kansas's Success

Mapping childhood lead poisoning data

Baby looking out of window

What is the problem?

Lead is a heavy metal toxin that is commonly found in our environment. Lead affects the health of many, especially children. The most common cause of childhood lead poisoning is the deterioration of lead-based paint surfaces in homes. Nearly 70% of homes in Kansas are at risk due to the use of lead-based paints. Blood lead levels (BLLs) as low as 5 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) are associated with harmful effects on children's learning and behavior. In Kansas, a child is considered poisoned with a BLL of 10 ug/dL. Hundreds of children are poisoned by lead in Kansas each year. However, many children in the state are not screened for lead.

What did Tracking do?

The Kansas Tracking Program will partner with KDHE's Healthy Homes Program to evaluate data from the childhood blood lead program. Through mapping, the Kansas Tracking Program will be able to illustrate the areas of the state where BLLs are high and a large number of older homes are located.

Improved public health

Using the evaluation, the Kansas Tracking Program will be able to define objectively the scope of both childhood blood lead screening and childhood blood lead poisoning. This will provide valuable information to public health professionals to conduct targeted health outreach. The goal is to increase the number of children that are screened for lead in their blood and decrease the number of children with blood lead poisoning.