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Childhood Lead Screening
Community Progress Report
Lead exposure is completely preventable, yet continues to pose a risk for children in Massachusetts. Any child can be exposed to lead regardless of income, racial and ethnic background, or neighborhood. 
There is no safe level of exposure to lead. In 2012, the CDC lowered the blood lead level reference value to 5 µg/dL, indicating the dangers of low levels of exposure in children. Research has found harmful effects of long-term, low-level exposure can include damage to overall intellectual ability, speech and language, hearing, visual-spatial skills, attention, executive functions, social behavior, and fine and gross motor skills.*
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) has released the 2017 progress reports for healthcare providers, focusing on childhood lead exposure and screening by community. Progress reports will be updated annually and we will notify pediatric healthcare providers each time new reports are released. 
Each progress report includes the following:

• Rate of children with first-time blood lead levels ≥5 µg/dL
• Screening rate (the percent of children aged 9-47 months and screened at least once in 2017)
• Number of children with an elevated capillary test ≥5 µg/dL that did not receive the required venous follow-up test
• Percentage of children that are screened at age 3
• Percentage of old housing
• Resources and advice to reduce lead exposure
View the most recent high risk community list and read more about how high risk communities are determined. Please note: just because a community is not listed as “high-risk” does not necessarily mean it is “low-risk”. Communities with high incidence rates may not be listed if case counts are low.
If you have any questions about this report, please contact CLPPP at 617-624-5757.
* Educational Services for Children Affected by Lead Expert Panel. Education interventions for children affected by lead. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2015.
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