Study Shows a Third of Childhood Lead Poisoning Goes Undiagnosed

study published today (April 27) in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics shows what lead poisoning among U.S. children looks like—and it’s bad.

Roughly a third of children exposed to lead likely go undiagnosed, according to the study. The study looked at 39 states where data is available from 1999 to 2010. Only 607,000 of the 944,000 cases in states that report to the Centers for Disease Control Control and Prevention (CDC) are identified. That means 36 percent of cases go unnoticed.

Lead poisoning is extremely dangerous for children, so much so that the CDC has determined no amount of lead safe is for them. The toxic metal can damage the brain and nervous system, slowing a child’s growth and development, which can lead to learning and behavioral problems.

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