Prevalence of Lead Poisoning

As a result of public health initiatives, lead levels in children's blood have dropped steadily since the 1970s, but approximately 434,000 U.S. children between one and five years of age still have elevated lead levels. Lead poisoning remains a particular threat among certain racial and ethnic groups that are disproportionately affected. For example, 6 percent of white children living in older housing have elevated lead levels, while the numbers for African-American and Mexican-American children in similar housing are 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively. In developing countries, which commonly use unleaded gasoline, lead poisoning is the most significant environmental disease among children. According to the World Health Organization, fifteen to eighteen million children in the developing world have suffered permanent brain damage as a result of lead poisoning.

—Paula Kepos nutritional deficiency: lack of adequate nutrients in the diet mucosa: moist exchange surface within the body fortified: altered by addition of vitamins or minerals environment: surroundings in the body and cause it to be excreted in the urine or feces. High blood lead levels are considered a medical emergency requiring immediate attention, since the chances of serious complications rise as lead accumulates in the blood.

Virginia Jones Noland


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