Expand Child Lead Testing

September 23, 2022. ODH draft rules undermine child lead testing.

Today, Cleveland Lead Advocates for Safe Housing has responded to a request for comments on draft regulations related to childhood lead testing from the Ohio Department of Health. Lead safety advocates around the country were excited when the CDC lowered the Blood Reference Value from 5 micrograms/deciliter down to 3.5 mg/dl. Think of the CDC Blood Reference Value as the point at which public health officials and health providers should begin treatment and pursue preventive measures with children. 

     There's just one catch to the CDC standard: the individual states (and some municipalities) need to adopt the new CDC standard. On August 24th, the Ohio Department of Health issued a draft administrative rule that is WORSE than the current rule. Instead of following CDC's guidance and lowering the threshold for action to 3.5mg/dl, the draft administrative rule ( creates a new class of children who test between 3.5mg/dl and 10 mg/dl and then the redefines "lead poisoned" from 5mg/dl up to 10mg/dl. The net effect is that more children who are identified with lead exposure will receive no on site inspections. 

Read the CLASH comments in full.

Read the #1 Request for Comments re Lead Screening and Assessment

CLASH Position paper: Expand Child Lead Testing

January 2022

The problem

Child lead testing in Cleveland has dropped dramatically since 2017. While many experts have claimed that the decrease in child lead testing was due to “the pandemic,” it is clear from the chart below that the numbers of children being tested was decreasing before 2020. 

Possible barriers to increasing the rate of child lead testing.

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