Lead poisoning

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Why This Indicator Matters

There is no safe blood lead level. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control uses a reference level of 5 µg/dL to identify children whose blood lead levels are higher than 97.5% of all U.S. children's levels. The number of children with estimated confirmed ≥5 µg/dL blood lead levels is calculated as the sum of those with confirmed blood lead levels ≥5 µg/dL and a proportion of those having unconfirmed blood lead levels ≥5 µg/dL. Lead poisoning—elevated levels of lead in one’s blood—is a serious health hazard, and low-income children in poorly-resourced communities are at highest risk. Thanks to effective federal and state policies, lead poisoning has dropped dramatically in Massachusetts.
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