Twelve percent of the Iowa kids under age six who were tested last year had “above average” amounts of poisonous lead in their bodies. University of Iowa researchers today said about 23,000 kids were tested in Iowa last year — but about 10 times that amount SHOULD have been tested. Steve Reynolds of the University’s Department of Environmental Health says paint is usually the culprit in lead poisoning cases. A U-of-I study found higher rates of hospital visits for lead poisoning among minorities and low-income Iowans. Since there are so many potential areas where lead poisoning can occur, the U-of-I study recommends universal screening of all children. Homes built before 1970, and especially before 1950, could have lead-based paint on their walls. Nearly half of the homes in Iowa were built before 1950.
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