Update of the Blood Lead Reference Value - United States, 2021

Perri Zeitz Ruckart, Robert L. Jones, Joseph G. Courtney, Tanya Telfair LeBlanc, Wilma Jackson, Mateusz P. Karwowski, Po Yung Cheng, Paul Allwood, Erik R. Svendsen, Patrick N. Breysse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


What is already known about this topic? No safe blood lead level (BLL) in children exists. Even low levels cause harm. What is added by this report? CDC updated the blood lead reference value (BLRV) to 3.5 µg/dL, which provides an opportunity for additional progress in addressing longstanding disparities in lead exposure and BLLs in children. What are the implications for public health practice? The BLRV should be used as a guide to empower public health partners to determine whether medical or environmental follow-up actions should be initiated for an individual child with BLLs between 3.5 and 5 µg/dL who previously would not have been recommended to receive these services until their BLL reached 5 µg/dL. In addition, it should be used to prioritize communities with the most need for primary prevention of exposure and evaluate the effectiveness of prevention efforts. Screening for BLLs should be done according to federal Medicaid and state requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1512
Number of pages4
JournalMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Issue number43
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Information Management
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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