For a number of years, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that there is no safe level of lead in the human body. Despite this stance, it has maintained a level of concern of 10 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dl) of lead for children under the age of 6 since 1991. That is, until recently.

This year, the CDC announced it is reducing the level of concern from 10 μg/dl to 5 μg/dl. This new value is not an arbitrary number. It is a reference value based on the blood lead levels of the top 2.5% of American children, aged 1 to 6 years old. This means that the reference value of 5 μg/dl will change as the blood lead levels of U.S. children change. If there is a decrease in the highest 2.5% of children’s lead levels, then the reference value will fall even lower than 5 μg/dl. Per the new policy, the CDC will update the reference value every four years.

Each year, thousands of children, under age 6 in New York State, are found to have a lead level at or above 10 μg/dl. With the new reference value halving that to 5 μg/dl, even more children will be diagnosed with an elevated lead level.

The CDC’s strong position is indicative of the  serious problem faced by the United States government. Lead exposure has been linked to learning disabilities, decreased IQ, attention deficits, behavioral problems and a myriad of other serious injuries. There is no cure for lead poisoning. The damage is permanent. Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC knows this firsthand because of our work with lead poisoned children and their families. Many clients were exposed to lead dust or lead-based paint as infants and toddlers and show the effects years later. Sadly, these deleterious effects last a lifetime. We are dedicated to pursuing awards on behalf of children poisoned by lead.