Childhood Lead Poisoning
Note: Childhood lead poisoning data on CDC’s Tracking Network is currently unavailable. Updated data will be available soon.
Childhood lead poisoning is preventable. In the United States, the major source of lead exposure among children is lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust found in buildings built before 1978. No safe level of lead exposure has been identified.
We Track That
Older homes can have peeling or chipping lead-based paint and high levels of lead-contaminated dust, and have young children living in them. Having measures for blood lead levels (BLLs) and a measure for age of housing together on the Tracking Network can help assess testing within areas of high risk.
Types of Data
Age of Housing
This indicator uses census data to provide information about the number of homes built before 1950 and homes built from 1950-1979. Living in an older home is one risk factor that can contribute to higher blood lead levels in children. Census data do not account for the number of older houses that have been renovated or have had lead removed; and this indicator does not consider other sources of lead in the community.
Data in Action
By tracking children with lead poisoning and sources of lead, we can:
- identify children at risk in order to target testing and resources;
- connect children with elevated BLLs to recommended services;
- monitor progress towards eliminating childhood lead poisoning;
- identify and monitor trends in lead sources that are exposing children to lead;
- remove and reduce sources of lead; and
- develop and evaluate lead poisoning interventions and programs.
Read these success stories to learn about childhood lead poisoning related work in our funded Tracking Programs.
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- Race/ethnicity and living in poverty are risk factors that can contribute to higher blood lead levels in children. You can view these data under Populations and Vulnerabilities.
- Biomonitoring: Population Exposures has data on the concentration of lead in blood for the U.S. population.