Targeted lead outreach tool The tool consists of three maps that display lead screening rates, housing and poverty risk, and a combination of both. These maps are specifically for population health interventions and outreach, not to determine if specific individuals or households are at risk.
For children, an elevated blood lead test result has been defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 1991 as 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (10 µg/dL) or higher. Childhood blood lead data available on this website currently display confirmed elevated results at or above 5 µg/dL.
Recently, CDC recommended adopting a new reference level of 5 µg/dL and identifies this as the level at which steps should be taken to reduce lead exposure in children under age 6. CDC and state EPHT partners are working to determine how best to compile, display and describe childhood blood lead levels from 5 to 10 µg/dL. Once consistent guidelines are developed, Colorado will update the available data to display these results on the Tracking web site. Colorado is also working to compile and display the number of unconfirmed screening tests by county.
Clinical laboratories are required to report all blood lead test results for children 18 years of age and younger regardless of the test result. For people older than 18, laboratories are required to report test results if they find that the person has an elevated level of lead in their blood. Elevated blood lead for someone over the age of 18 is defined as 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (10 µg/dL) or higher. These blood lead test results must be reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as specified in the regulations.
Test results are received daily, and elevated results from children are reported to local health agencies on a weekly basis. Local health agencies follow up on reports of elevated lead test results as resources allow. This may include an investigation to determine the source of lead exposure and to recommend actions for stopping the exposure.
The Colorado Environmental Public Health Tracking program analyzes, summarizes and reports the results of blood lead testing from children less than six years of age. These yearly data are available by county. These data do not tell us how Colorado compares to other states because childhood blood lead testing practices vary between states. Some states recommend universal testing, while others, including Colorado, recommend targeted testing.
The ABLES program is a state-based surveillance program of laboratory-reported adult blood lead levels. The program objective is to build state capacity to initiate, expand, or improve adult blood lead surveillance programs which can accurately measure trends in adult blood lead levels and can effectively intervent to prevent lead over-exposures.