Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Should kids be tested for lead exposure?

Answer: I think they should.
I would be particularly concerned that a child be tested who is a “mouther,” a finger-sucker, or a child who frequently is putting toys in the mouth.

I would also want to test children under age 4 who have been playing with these toys if it were my child. I think you would want to do that just for peace of mind.

When I was at the EPA, we did an observational study of toddler behavior. We found that toddlers were putting their hands to their mouths anywhere up to 26 times an hour, the mean was 9.5.

They are not necessarily sucking their thumbs, but there is a lot of hand-to-mouth behavior.

We were surprised by the findings and had to rethink the way we were looking at risks for little kids.

Until next time,


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