Lead screenings in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

According to the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, protecting children from exposure to lead is important to lifelong good health. There is no safe level of lead in a person’s blood. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. The most important step parents, doctors, and others can take is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs.
CDC Fact Sheet on elevated lead levels in children

Maine law implemented in June 2019 requires blood lead tests for all children at 1 and 2 years of age.
      What the data shows:
In 2019, 60.3% of children ages 12- 24 months were screened for blood lead, up from 51.2% before the law took effect.  The total number screened in 2019 of 7,450 was nearly 1,000 more children than the previous year.  Every counties saw increases in participation in lead screening from 2018 to 2019.One county, Washington County achieved 100% of children ages 12- 24 months were screened for blood lead. Four other counties – Franklin (78.4%), Oxford, (74.3% )and Aroostook, (73.8%) achieved rates above two thirds of children in the age group. Counties with rates under 50-% included Piscataquis, (40.0%),Sagadahoc, (42.8%), Lincoln (45.9%) and Waldo (48.7%). 
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Data Provided By

Definitions: Children can be given a blood test to measure the level of lead in their blood. This measure shows the number and percent of lead screenings for children ages 12 -24 months as that is the recommended time for the screening. For percent of screenings, the numerator is the estimated number of children ages 12 -24 month who received lead screenings and the denominator is the number of children ages 12 -24 months. Note that a  blood lead test is considered a "screening test" only when a child has no prior history of a confirmed blood lead at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL).

Data Source: Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Maine Tracking Network

Footnotes: Updated October 2021