Despite mandatory testing, many of the most vulnerable children remain at risk, especially for lead poisoning.
Doctors say lead has a substantial detrimental effect on a child's intelligence-- all of the ingredients of intelligence, which are necessary for success in school and ultimately for productivity and success in the workplace.
Dr. John Rosen is a national expert on lead poisoning in kids. He says the tragedy is that it only takes an $8 blood test to detect unsafe lead levels in children, which can then be treated.
Rosen says according to statistics from New York City, only one out of four children ages one and two are being tested. He says the earlier it's diagnosed, that has potentially the effect of ensuring that child is going to succeed in school.
The main source of lead in children is lead-based paint, and the only way to tell is to test.
Even though it's been banned in the nation for 25 years, federal estimates say there are still 38 million homes in the U.S. with lead-based paint.
Rosen said the reason kids don't get tested is mostly lacking awareness among pediatricians. Public service campaigns from city and state health departments should help make sure more kids are tested.
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Getting the Lead Out
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Source: http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fdalead.html (U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web Site)