Minnesota Taking Steps to Combat Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn that lead is still an active threat in the US. Children are particularly susceptible to acquiring dangerous lead levels in their blood, which is why state and federal governments should take additional steps to maintain safety in residential districts.

There are occasionally small victories in the battle against lead poisoning. The state of Minnesota is leading the way in lead poisoning eradication.Reports indicate that lead prevention measures have successfully reduced the number of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood.

The number of children having elevated blood lead levels in the last 17 years went down close to 90 percent, largely due to prevention efforts by Minnesota public health officials. Lead poisoning is a serious issue facing children in America, and Minnesota is one of the most affected states. Since 1995, the state health department has been working along with community partners to prevent lead poisoning attacks.

Those were the times when the number of children in Minnesota tested for lead poisoning each year virtually tripled. In 1998, 35,000 children tested positive. That number rose to 100,00 in 2010.

However, there was a simultaneous decline in the number of kids having blood lead levels exceeding 10 ug/dL (micrograms per deciliter), which is the level defined as “elevated” by the state law. The number decreased from 4,339 cases in 1995 to only 584 cases in 2011 – an 87 percent decline. This is a considerable improvement, although children are not yet in the clear.

We want to stress that there is no amount of exposure to lead that can be considered safe. Minnesota’s public health nurses now strive to eliminate the exposure to lead in children even when their blood lead levels exceed 5 ug/dL, which is currently a very conservative reference level. There were more than 3000 children in Minnesota with lead level in blood that exceeded 5 ug/dL in 2011.

This effort needs to be sustained to ensure that the community is completely free from lead poisoning, particularly since the majority of Minnesota homes were constructed before 1978. This is the year in which lead was banned in paints used for residential housing. Children living in these homes are under risk.

Other ways in which kids can be affected by lead are by drinking water transported through lead pipes, through the soil, from the workplace and even from home remedies and snack foods.

Lead poisoning is preventable, so the efforts carried out by Minnesota health officials must be continued so that blood lead levels in children are gradually reduced and poisoning attacks are eliminated. Homes and communities at risk must continue to be identified since such families continue to exist in Minnesota. That may be a tad more resource straining now since the Federal budget has introduced cuts in the finances provided to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for disease prevention efforts.

However, Minnesota health officials are determined to let the fight against lead poisoning go on. Families themselves can take many steps for reducing lead exposure risks in their children, which can help complement the efforts of health officials. Before families purchase an older home they should ask for lead inspection to ensure the amount of lead present isn’t dangerous or risky enough to cause lead poisoning in any of the family members. Families should also continually test children for lead. This particularly applies for those having children below the age of six.

Anyone concerned about lead poisoning can seek the assistance of the local health department for valuable tips on keeping children safe from harm Chicago lead poisoning attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm hope that recent efforts to eradicate lead poisoning will pay off.