"Panel Urges Lower Cutoff for Child Lead Poisoning"

"ATLANTA -- For the first time in 20 years, a federal panel is urging the government to lower the threshold for lead poisoning in children."

"If adopted, hundreds of thousands more children could be diagnosed with lead poisoning. Too much lead is harmful to developing brains and can mean a lower IQ.

Recent research persuaded panel members that children could be harmed from lead levels in their blood that are lower than the current standard, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

While the number of cases has been falling, health officials think as many as 250,000 children have the problem, many of those undiagnosed. The proposed change could take it to 450,000 cases."

Mike Stobbe reports for the Associated Press January 4, 2012.

Source: AP, 01/05/2012