A new report published in Pediatrics estimates that the overall number of children with elevated lead levels in the US for the period 1999 to 2010 was 1.2 million—double what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously reported. Even that figure is likely far lower than the reality. Because testing for lead is not required in the US, lead poisoning is often missed. In eleven states, including Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon, more than 80% of children with elevated lead levels were not tested by pediatricians or local health departments. In the remaining 28 states for which data was available, between 40-60% of children with lead poisoning were not tested. Scientists have determined there is no safe level of lead for children. Even low levels can lower IQ; higher levels can lead to severe neurological damage and the development of conditions like attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders. Additionally, as we’ve reported before, lead exposure is also linked to violent crime. You’d think that state and federal health officials would be open to therapies that can help people get the lead out of their bodies, but our crony medical system rejects treatments that are not big money makers.

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