What is lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning affects a child’s brain, nervous system, and red blood cells as they grow and develop. It can cause permanent damage such as learning disabilities, speech and language problems, poor hearing, hyperactivity, and poor school performance. The good news is that there are things you can do to keep your child safe from lead.
Lead poisoning in Jackson County
There has been considerable progress in the past 20 years in reducing the number of lead-poisoned children. However, currently, there has been a decline in testing, health consultation, and elimination of lead hazards.
Blood lead testing in Jackson County as well as the State of Michigan has been down for the last couple of years. According to Preliminary Fiscal Year 2021 data, the overall number of total children tested in Jackson County is 1,981. The number of children with an elevated blood lead level equal to or above 4.5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) is 68 or 3.4%.
To get a better understanding of how these statistics look in comparison to previous years download the Jackson County Lead Statistics Page. (note: the 2021 data has not been added at this time as we are waiting for the monthly numbers from the MDHHS Lead Section before adding them. The Michigan Lead Data Briefs are also available.
This Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) online interactive course is designed to enhance professional awareness of childhood lead poisoning, increase blood lead testing rates for young children, educate on how to eliminate the sources of lead poisoning—especially in aging housing—and improve inter-agency collaboration and communication regarding resolution of this complex environmental health issue.
Download the flyer on the course or go to the following site: https://courses.mihealth.org/PUBLIC/home.html Search for CLPPP Lead Poisoning class. If you don't have a user id in MIHealth.org, you will have to create one.
The only way to know for sure if a child has lead poisoning is to have the child tested. Your primary care physician can do a capillary or venous blood draw test to determine your child's blood lead level. It is recommended that a venous test is performed as it is the most accurate.
The Centers for Disease Control lowered the reference level for intervention from 5.0 micrograms per deciliter to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter in October 2021. In May 2022 the State of Michigan Medicaid Policy was updated to align with the CDC action.