Start Date

3-3-2017 8:00 AM

Document Type

Poster

Description

Massachusetts has been at the forefront of childhood lead poisoning prevention, enacting one of the nation's first Lead Laws in the 1970's. The Massachusetts Lead Law is stringent, requiring universal screening of children for lead poisoning multiple times before age three, and the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in all homes built before 1978 where a child under age six lives. Owing to such a robust law, Massachusetts screening rates are high and the prevalence and incidence of lead poisoning has been steadily decreasing since 2000. Despite these successes, there is wide variation in screening and prevalence rates at the community level, with some communities showing a need for a more targeted approach. Additionally, scientific evidence increasingly suggests that even low levels of lead exposure cause severe and irreversible health effects, underlining the fact that lead remains a significant health risk for children in Massachusetts. To address these concerns, Massachusetts DPH has developed a direct mailing tool for physician outreach providing community-specific indicators of childhood lead screening and exposure and highlighting areas of needed improvement in screening, follow-up, and prevention. The Childhood Lead Poisoning Community Progress Report focuses on awareness of the CDC reference level of 5 µg/dL and the dangers of low-level lead exposure, educating medical providers on their role in preventing lead exposure by screening all children, following proper testing practices, and educating parents on available resources. Qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used to measure the impact of the Community Progress Report over time.

Keywords

lead exposure, children, lead poisoning prevention, Massachusetts, physician outreach

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

 
Mar 3rd, 8:00 AM

Raising Physician Awareness to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure: The Massachusetts Community Lead Progress Report

Massachusetts has been at the forefront of childhood lead poisoning prevention, enacting one of the nation's first Lead Laws in the 1970's. The Massachusetts Lead Law is stringent, requiring universal screening of children for lead poisoning multiple times before age three, and the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in all homes built before 1978 where a child under age six lives. Owing to such a robust law, Massachusetts screening rates are high and the prevalence and incidence of lead poisoning has been steadily decreasing since 2000. Despite these successes, there is wide variation in screening and prevalence rates at the community level, with some communities showing a need for a more targeted approach. Additionally, scientific evidence increasingly suggests that even low levels of lead exposure cause severe and irreversible health effects, underlining the fact that lead remains a significant health risk for children in Massachusetts. To address these concerns, Massachusetts DPH has developed a direct mailing tool for physician outreach providing community-specific indicators of childhood lead screening and exposure and highlighting areas of needed improvement in screening, follow-up, and prevention. The Childhood Lead Poisoning Community Progress Report focuses on awareness of the CDC reference level of 5 µg/dL and the dangers of low-level lead exposure, educating medical providers on their role in preventing lead exposure by screening all children, following proper testing practices, and educating parents on available resources. Qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used to measure the impact of the Community Progress Report over time.

 

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