Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children

HEHS-98-78: Published: Feb 20, 1998. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1998.

Additional Materials:


Bernice Steinhardt
(202) 512-3000


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the: (1) degree to which blood lead levels associated with harmful health effects exist among young children covered by Medicaid; and (2) extent to which children covered by Medicaid have had screening blood lead tests.

GAO noted that: (1) its analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data shows that lead toxicity is a significant problem for children receiving care under Medicaid; (2) these children were more than three times as likely to have high levels of lead in their blood as were children not receiving care under Medicaid; (3) GAO estimates that more than half a million Medicaid children--about 1 in every 12 children aged 1 through 5 in the program--have harmful levels of lead in their blood; (4) despite the Health Care Financing Administration's mandatory screening requirements for children in these age groups, most Medicaid children had never been checked for high lead levels; (5) for nearly two-thirds of the Medicaid children identified through NHANES screenings as having high lead levels, this was the first screening for lead they had ever received; and (6) projected to the entire Medicaid population of children aged 1 through 5, this represents about 352,000 children who probably have high levels of lead in their blood but have not been tested for it.

Nov 19, 2018

Nov 13, 2018

Oct 30, 2018

Oct 23, 2018

Oct 15, 2018

Oct 1, 2018

Sep 28, 2018

Sep 17, 2018

Sep 13, 2018

Sep 10, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here