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Your Child Is Poisoned: Reflections on the New Lead Guidelines

M. Ellen Gellerstedt, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(1):107-108. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170010109028.
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The Editorial by Sayre and Ernhart1 in the November 1992 issue of AJDC discussed the concerns of many physicians regarding interpretation of low-level lead exposure studies and about implementing the 1991 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.2 The Editorial by Rosen3 in the same issue elucidated the public health considerations leading to the new CDC guidelines. I think another voice should be added to this debate, the voice of the individual patient and his or her family.

As practitioners involved in the care of individual children implement the recent CDC guidelines, they will face a new population of children, previously considered to be healthy, who are now labeled with a pathologic diagnosis of lead poisoning or lead toxic effects: those children whose lead levels are in the range of 0.48 μmol/L to 1.21 μmol/L(10 to 20 μg/dL). While practitioners can understand that public health considerations are responsible


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