Lead Poisoning Cases in Maryland Continue to Drop - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Lead Poisoning Cases in Maryland Continue to Drop

Posted: 10/25/2017 15:03:00 -04:00 Updated:
(Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)

BALTIMORE (AP/WBOC)- State environmental officials say the number of childhood lead poisoning cases in Maryland has dropped to its lowest level since testing was implemented nearly 25 years ago.

A report released Wednesday by the Maryland Department of the Environment found that 355 children out of nearly 120,000 kids tested had blood lead levels that constitute lead poisoning. That amounts to 0.3 percent of children tested.

When testing was first implemented in 1993, nearly 25 percent of the 60,000 children tested that year had lead poisoning.

Officials attribute the drop to a 1994 law that regulated lead paint in older rental housing.

Exposure to lead can cause developmental and neurological damage in children, especially before age 6.

Wednesday's report follows Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement earlier this year that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved an application by the Maryland Department of Health to launch a $7.2 million initiative to reduce lead poisoning and improve asthma, two conditions related to environmental conditions in housing. The Department of Health, in collaboration with the MDE and the DHCD, will implement the initiative.

Hogan also proclaimed this week as Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Maryland.

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