Childhood Lead Exposure

The first table shows screening numbers, rates and results for all children screened in 2014. It is important to note that data are not reported for children who test between 0-5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (mcg/dL), despite that fact that the Centers for Disease Control indicate there is NO safe level of blood lead. We do know that New Hampshires rate of lead exposure in children is twice the national rate.

The chart reports 2014 screening rates for 1- and 2- year olds in communities where universal screening is recommended (because of risk-factors), as well as WIC and Head Start children. While it is recommended that all 1- and 2- year old children in these populations are screened for lead, 26% of 1-year olds, and 63% of 2-year olds in New Hampshire have not been screened.

In states like New Hampshire, with the majority of homes built before the 1978 ban on lead-paint, it is too common that children are exposed to lead. Because even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement, preventing and addressing exposure is critical to children’s long term health.

Data Source: New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, Healthy Homes and Environment Section. 2014 Lead Exposure Surveillance Report