Iowa public health officials are asking lawmakers to make screening for lead poisoning mandatory for Iowa children. All kids under the age of six would have to be tested for lead poisoning, just as some immunizations are mandatory. Rita Gergely of the Iowa Department of Public Health says doctors and other health care workers in Iowa are reluctant to test for lead poisoning. She says many providers don’t want to do test they says are necessary and they don’t identify cases of lead poisoning.Gergely testified before a legislative panel studying the issue.Lead poisoning among Iowa children is nearly three times the national average. That’s because many Iowa homes were built before 1950, when house paint was still laced with lead. Dr. Ed Shore of the Iowa Department of Public Health says kids get lead poisoning from chipped paint, contaminated soil and even house dust.The Department of Public Health is also asking for 300-hundred thousand more dollars for their lead poisoning initiative.
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