Primary Prevention of Lead Poisoning: Shifting the Paradigm

This presentation provides an examination of the current methods of lead poisoning prevention and offers a shift in the standard of care from a clinical intervention model to more truly preventive practices.  The current accepted standard for lead detection and lead poisoning prevention follow the clinical intervention model, which involves examining an infant or young child’s blood-lead content.  This method of screening detects a problem only after exposure has occurred.  This presentation proposes a more proactive and non-invasive method of screening by which lead in homes can be identified long before exposure in the infant or toddler occurs.  Physician residents in obstetrics and gynecology, and prenatal and planned parenthood healthcare workers represent individuals in the community who have direct access to expecting parents.  As such, these groups are in an optimal position to disseminate information and resources aimed at thwarting lead poisoning prior to bringing a child into a contaminated home.  Currently in the U.S., 250,000 children under age 5 have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter, which is the level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.  High levels of lead in the bloodstream can lead to neurodevelopmental delays, behavioral problems, and problems of the circulatory, digestive and excretory systems.  Simply by identifying parents who live in older homes, individuals who work at community prenatal clinics can provide specialized lead detection kits, at no cost, for parents to screen their homes for lead contamination.  If lead is identified in the home, parents will then be provided information about proper lead abatement, including the identification of certified contractors, financial assistance, and other advice to create a lead-free environment prior to bringing their newborn into the home.  This service-based initiative focuses specifically on the State of New Jersey.

Click on the following link for the powerpoint presentation:  LeadPoisoning

Michael A. Noll, M.D.                                                                                                                                                                                             PUBH 6165-4, Environmental Health                                                                                                                                                                      Walden University

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One Response

  1. Michael,

    Congratulations on your presentation. I was very impressed by it. It was very informative and creative. The proposal for a method of screening for lead in homes before exposure of infants and toddlers, is a very impressive one. I work with Mental Health, Mental Retardation population, and the majority of the children being diagnosed as mentally retarded have been exposed to lead. This is a great proposal. Thanks for the information.

    Patricia-Branche-John

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