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Published October 25, 2012, 07:43 AM

Number of Minnesota children with unsafe lead level declines

ST. PAUL — State health officials say Minnesota continues to make progress in cutting the number of children with unsafe lead levels.

By: Associated Press, INFORUM

ST. PAUL — State health officials say Minnesota continues to make progress in cutting the number of children with unsafe lead levels.

The Department of Health says the number of children with at least 10 micograms of lead per deciliter of blood dropped from about 4,340 in 1995 to 584 last year. High levels of lead can cause brain and nerve damage, while the effects of lower levels of lead are more subtle.

Federal authorities this year changed the level of concern from 10 to 5. Using the new standard, more than 3,000 children in Minnesota have lead levels at least that high.

The Star Tribune says the number of blood tests for lead exposure, primarily for children younger than 6, has tripled in the past two decades in Minnesota.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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