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News Childhood Lead Exposure Data Brief - 2016

2016 data brief on childhood lead exposure in Massachusetts
6/01/2016
  • Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Data Brief

While the Commonwealth has made substantial gains in mitigating the harmful effects of lead exposure through public health interventions over the past 45 years, lead exposure remains a significant health risk for children across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

There is no safe level of exposure to lead and even exposure to relatively low levels can cause severe and irreversible health effects, including damage to a child’s mental and physical development. Numerous studies have documented correlations between childhood lead poisoning and future school performance, unemployment, crime, violence, and incarceration, making lead exposure an important social determinant of health.

The Massachusetts Lead Law (see MGL c. 111, §§ 189A-199B and 105 CMR 460.000) requires any dwelling unit where a child under six years of age resides to be deleaded, regardless of a child’s blood lead level (BLL) or whether the property is owner occupied. The law also requires that all children be tested for blood lead between the ages of 9-12 months, again at ages 2 and 3, and, if they live in a high-risk community, tested again at age 4.

DPH’s Bureau of Environmental Health enforces the Commonwealth’s lead law and collects and analyzes data based on childhood blood lead screening and environmental (housing) records.

See documents below for more information.

Key Actions for Childhood Lead Exposure Data Brief - 2016

Additional Resources for Childhood Lead Exposure Data Brief - 2016

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program 

We help prevent, screen, diagnose, and treat lead poisoning. We work to eliminate sources of poisoning through research and educational, epidemiological, and clinical activities.

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