College of Nursing




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Health Science Campus
Collier Building, RM 4405

3000 Arlington Ave
Toledo, OH 43614
Mail Stop 1026
Student Services: 419.383.5810
Undergrad Advisor: 419.530.2673
Graduate Advisor: 419.383.5841


Childhood lead poisoning is one of the most prevalent and avoidable pediatric health problems in the United States today. Lead is toxic to cognitive and behavioral functioning in children even at levels well below those producing physical symptoms. Data suggests disparities in blood lead levels (BLLs) have been documented among racial, socioeconomic class, and minority groups’ living environment. Healthy People 2020’s goals include elimination of childhood lead exposure.

Impact factors:

• Socioeconomic factors play an important role in lead exposure; poor families are more likely to live near industrial plants that handle lead.

• Additionally, they are more likely to live in older housing where lead-based paint is present and have iron or calcium deficient diets, which causes children to metabolize and absorb lead more efficiently.

• Children who move frequently are more likely to be exposed to lead due to their changing home environment (WHO, 2010).

Lucas County Data

Childhood lead poisoning is a preventable environmental health problem. Lucas County ranks second in the state of Ohio for the highest number of identified cases of lead poisoning. A total of 73,500 housing units in Lucas County are at-risk for exposing occupants to lead; the Lucas County Department of Health estimates that 37% of children under the age of 6 occupy housing in the highest-risk areas. In 2004, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported that in Lucas County only 16% of children between the ages of 1-5 were screened for lead exposure. Of the estimated 996 children with elevated levels, only 368 were identified; leaving an estimated 63% of lead poisoned children unidentified (EWG, 2004). The future health and behavioral complications of children with lead poisoning are vast.

Last Updated: 7/27/17