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Blood Lead Levels in Children
Blood lead level is a measure of the amount of lead found in blood. It is measured in micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (μg/dL). The HCI Blood Lead Levels in Children indicator measures the percent of neighborhood children that have been tested and found to have lead levels over 5 µg/dL. Childhood lead exposure is a critical public health issue. High blood lead levels can cause reduced cognitive potential; children whose health or cognition has been harmed by lead suffer permanent effects that continue into adulthood. This is an “inverse” measure: a high proportion of neighborhood children with high blood levels equates to low community health. Although identified in the Housing domain, blood lead levels in children also impacts health systems and public safety, employment, economic health, and education. Blood lead data are collected by state and local health departments.