Thousands more children are now considered at risk for lead poisoning now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are releasing new guidelines that could quadruple the number of children being diagnosed.
Now, it's more important than ever for parents to test their children and homes for lead because the new guidelines show there really is no safe level of lead for children.
Previously, the CDC defined lead poisoning as 10 micrograms per deciliter. Now, that number has been halved to just 5 micrograms. That decision means as many as 1 million American children could be diagnosed with lead poisoning.
Professionals can pick up lead with the click of a button, but without the tools of the trade, many homeowners need some help. The Sustainable Resources Center teaches homeowners how to spot lead from the outside.
Lead-based paint, which was commonly used on homes built before 1978, is still the greatest concern -- and the smallest particles are often the biggest threat. Luckily, a simple blood test is all that's needed to check for lead poisoning and quell parents' fears.
The new guidelines make it clear that even trace amounts are troubling, because even 5 micrograms per deciliter can lead to permanent injuries in terms of brain damage, learning disabilities, or behavioral issues.