Children & Youth
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels


Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels

What does this measure?

The number of children under age 6 with blood lead levels 10 micrograms per deciliter or higher as a proportion of those tested within the year (either with a finger stick or venous blood screening). Only children who did not previously have an elevated blood lead level are included in this measure.

Why is this important?

Exposure to lead, even small amounts, significantly increases a child's risk of developing long-lasting cognitive, physiological and behavioral problems.

How is our county performing?

In 2018, 2.2% of children tested in the county had elevated blood lead levels, similar to the 2017 rate and a slight increase since 2012. The county rate is higher than the statewide rate of 1.2% and the national rate of 0.6% (based on 2017 data, the latest nationally available).

The lowest elevated blood lead level rates in neighboring counties were found in Chester, Montgomery (0.5% and 0.7% respectively), Lehigh (1.1%), Schuylkill (1.3%) and Lebanon (1.6%). Lancaster was similar at 2.0%.

It is important to note that not all children are tested for lead, despite a state law requiring them to be tested. Statewide, about two-thirds of children are tested between 9 and 18 months of age.

Notes about the data

Pennsylvania does not mandate universal and complete screening of all children. Therefore, testing of children for BLL is targeted rather than random, which makes interpretation of rates of EBLLs by geographic area or demographic factors difficult. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the first quarter, with a two-year lag.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels
2012201320142015201620172018
United States0.6%0.5%0.5%0.5%0.5%0.6%
Pennsylvania1.6%1.3%1.2%1.2%1.1%1.2%1.1%
Berks County2.2%1.1%1.0%1.3%2.3%2.3%2.2%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County0.9%0.9%0.8%1.3%1.1%1.0%0.5%
Lancaster County1.2%1.1%1.3%1.6%1.1%1.1%2.0%
Lebanon County1.8%2.8%3.0%1.2%1.2%2.2%1.6%
Lehigh County1.7%1.4%1.2%1.3%1.1%2.1%1.1%
Montgomery County0.4%0.4%0.6%0.5%0.6%1.0%0.7%
Schuylkill County3.6%3.7%3.5%3.4%2.3%3.2%1.3%

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Notes: Proportion of all children under 6 screened in a year and found to have elevated blood lead levels. Only children not previously identified with elevated lead levels are included.




Number of Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels
2012201320142015201620172018
United States14,38111,23710,80511,05412,13511,097
Pennsylvania2,4051,9201,7121,1551,5501,7361,776
Berks County106534133999098
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County28443336484625
Lancaster County42404739403485
Lebanon County1931339122020
Lehigh County62544130477348
Montgomery County28304328498567
Schuylkill County62595136344822

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Notes: Number of all children under 6 screened in a year and found to have elevated blood lead levels. Only children not previously identified with elevated lead levels are included.




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY
Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Maintaining
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households by type Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
Employment to Population ratio Decreasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Brain Drain/Gain Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Receiving Supplemental Security Income Increasing
Health Status Not Applicable
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Students in K-6 Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Toxic Chemical Releases Decreasing
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing