Knowledge of the extent and seriousness of childhood lead poisoning has vastly expanded since the last statement regarding lead poisoning by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1987. Blood lead levels once thought to be safe have been shown to be associated with IQ deficits, behavior disorders, slowed growth, and impaired hearing. In fact, lead poisoning is, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, "the most important environmental health problem for young children."

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