Pediatricians Call For More Testing And Tighter Rules On Lead Exposure

When lead was taken out of products like paint and gasoline, levels of the metal in the blood of U.S. children dropped. But the American Academy of Pediatrics says the problem is not over.

"Most existing lead standards fail to protect children," members of the AAP's environmental health council report in a statement published Monday in the journalPediatrics. Standards for the amount of lead that can be present in paint, water, dust and soil are not based on health standards, the pediatricians say, but instead on what's been feasible to attain. Such standards, they write, create "an illusion of safety."

"We've taken lead out of the paint and out of the gasoline, but the history is still present," says Dr. Jennifer Lowry, a co-author of the academy's report and a medical toxicologist with Children's Mercy, a hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

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