LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Two new bills in Lansing would require doctors to screen children for lead toxicity multiple times before the age of 5.
Both bills were introduced by a group of 11 Democrat members of the State House on Wednesday and referred to the Committee on Health Policy.
Lead is a toxic metallic element that can build up in the body over months or years of exposure to things like lead paint, lead dust, faulty plumbing, and even soil that was contaminated before the switch to unleaded gasoline in 1996. According to the Mayo Clinic, lead is especially dangerous for children, since it can lead to developmental delays and learning difficulties.
Under this legislation, all children would be screened for lead toxicity between the ages of 9 months and 12 months, then again between the ages of 2 and 3 years. The screening would be recorded on the child’s immunization records.
The Department of Health and Human Services would also identify areas where children are at a high risk of lead exposure. Children in those areas would get another screening when they are 4 years old.
Parents and guardians would be allowed to opt-out of the lead toxicity screening requirements based on religious objections.