The Department of Public Health is asking the legislature to require lead testing for children under the age of six. The Department has stressed the need for voluntary testing for young children since 1992. Department spokesperson Rita Gergley says young children are targeted primarily because their nervous systems are still under development. She says younger kids also tend to be more prone to putting things in their mouths.Gergley says the health risk for lead-poisoning decreases as children get older and their nervous systems are more developed. So far, the number of lead poisoning cases among children under six has remained stable in Iowa. But, she says there hasn’t been a decrease either.The legislature’s urged to consider requiring the test for fear that high-risk children are not getting tested.
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