News Release 

USPSTF recommendation statement on screening for elevated blood lead levels in children, pregnant women


Bottom Line: This recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) updates its 2006 statement regarding screening for elevated blood lead levels in children and pregnant women. The USPSTF now finds inadequate evidence to recommend for or against screening for elevated blood lead levels in asymptomatic children 5 years or younger and in asymptomatic pregnant women.

Background: The USPSTF routinely makes recommendations about the effectiveness of preventive care services. Elevated blood lead levels in children are associated with neurologic effects such as behavioral and learning problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, hearing problems and impaired growth. In pregnant women, lead exposure can impair organ systems and increase the risk of preeclampsia and adverse outcomes for the infant.


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Note: More information about the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, its process, and its recommendations can be found on the newsroom page of its website.


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