A recent report by Texas Public Radio found lead poisoning is a problem for children in some areas of Texas.
Despite the increasing rarity of lead paints and other lead-based products, blood tests are still revealing alarmingly high levels of lead in minors’ blood.
According to Dr. Van Ramhorst, people enrolled in Medicaid’s Texas Health Step program are required to get their children’s blood tested for lead at the ages of 1 and 2.
Outside of this rule, however, its not required and up to individual doctors whether or not to order the test.
“It’s a higher risk for the children, but I have found higher lead levels in people with commercial insurance who are higher income,” Ramhorst said in an interview. “That’s why we do it in everyone routinely.”
Federal guidelines for lead poisoning is just five micrograms per deciliter of blood. At this concentration, kids start showing lowered IQs, aggression and behavioral disorders.
The national average for children testing at this amount of lead in their bloodstream is 2.5 percent.
Texas as a whole is at 2.6, and San Antonio zip codes 78203 and 78212 were at 11 percent.