Lead paint safety program working in Maine, research shows

Maine’s rigorous new testing standards for lead poisoning in children has resulted in additional inspections of dwellings for lead paint, and those inspections have led to more lead hazards being discovered and removed, according to recently published research.

In 2015, Maine approved a law that reduced the blood test threshold that triggers the household inspections from 15 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to 5 micrograms. The new standard aligns with recommendations by federal health agencies.

Currently, all children who receive Medicaid are tested for lead exposure. A bill pending in the Legislature would require lead testing for all 1- and 2-year-old children in Maine. The bill — backed by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention — was approved by the Health and Human Services Committee and is now headed to the House and Senate floor.

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