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Data on lead levels in blood for Michigan children available online

Doctors often overlook taking a child's blood pressure during routine visits.
Sean Locke
/
iStockphoto.com
Doctors often overlook taking a child's blood pressure during routine visits.

The state has released new data on blood lead levels in Michigan children. Thousands of children in the state show elevated blood lead levels.

In May, the Centers for Disease Control updated their blood lead reference value, or B-LRV, which is used to identify children with higher levels of lead in their blood.

The CDC decreased the BLRV from 5 to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter and higher and Michigan followed suit. Though medical professionals stress there is no safe level of lead in blood.

The update means more affected children in the state can qualify for services. According to data, more than 3,400 Michigan children had an elevated blood lead level of 3.5 micrograms per deciliter and higher in 2021. More than half of those children had a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter and higher.

Some of the highest case numbers were found in the state’s larger metro areas.

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.