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More children across the US would likely be diagnosed with high lead levels under recommended guidelines approved this week by a federal advisory panel.

The panel voted to lower by 30 percent, to 3.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the threshold at which a child is considered to have elevated lead. It’s a sign of increased awareness and concern about how harmful even low levels of lead can be for growing kids. And it could allow public health agencies to identify more sources of lead contamination.

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  • Because lead is a potent neurotoxicant, early exposure to it may have lifelong consequences for cognitive function and behavior. A pregnant woman’s exposure to lead puts her unborn baby at risk. Source:
    Birth Defect Research For Children (BDRC) urges parents with children with birth defects to participate in the National Birth Defect Registry.

  • Lead is synergistic with mercury, so it may be best to consider alternatives to dental amalgam fillings for children exposed to lead. Especially for boys, given James S Woods’ et al’s findings of greater rates of neurobehavioral deficits and kidney function changes in boys with certain gene types after reanalyzing the Children’s Amalgam Trial data by gender and gene type (Neurotoxicology, 2014).

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