Lead Poisoning Data for Maine Towns and for a Lower Blood Lead Threshold Released

July 6, 2016

Significant updates to the Maine Tracking Network data portal are a major boon for understanding and preventing childhood lead poisoning in Maine.

Data describing lead poisoning, screening tests and risk factors are now available for hundreds of Maine towns. Also available are estimates for the number and percentage of children with blood lead levels of 5 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) or higher. A blood lead level of 5 ug/dL is the new reference level at which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends public health action. Previously, data were only available for Maine’s public health districts, counties and selected high-risk communities, and only for blood level levels of 10 ug/dL or higher.

The expansion continues Maine CDC’s effort to provide data and tools to track and address childhood lead poisoning, and aligns with a 2015 amendment of Maine law that changed the definition of lead poisoning to a blood lead level of 5 ug/dL or higher.

Other additions to the data portal include updated census block group maps for high-risk areas, which provide street-level views of lead poisoning and screening, as well as poverty and housing risk factors.

The data are available for the years 2003-2014 and will be updated annually. In addition to towns, data are available for the state, public health districts, and counties.

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