Texas Health Steps Adopts New CDC Blood Lead Levels
Experts agree that there is no safe level of lead exposure for children and that the best way to protect children from lead exposure is through primary prevention rather than a response to exposure after it has taken place. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention’s (ACCCLPP) newest recommendations on blood lead levels. Recommendations included elimination of the term “blood lead level of concern” as well as the use of the new reference value based on the 97.5 percentile of the population blood lead level (BLL) in children aged 1-5 years (currently 5 mcg/dL). The new reference value changes the blood lead level at which action is necessary from 10 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) to 5 mcg/dL.
Texas Health Steps (THSteps) recently adopted the new reference value of 5 mcg/dL and is currently in the process of updating policy to reflect these changes. Once completed, policy and procedure changes related to blood lead level changes will be noted in the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP) Texas Medicaid Provider Procedures Manual. THSteps providers should monitor the TMHP website and THSteps website for additional information on these changes.
The Texas Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (TXCLPPP) is also recommending using a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter as their reference value for follow-up action by health care providers. Find more information related to the Texas Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, or blood lead reporting requirements at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lead/child.shtm.
Click on the following CDC links for additional information on blood lead levels: