Despite the fact that average blood lead levels in American children have decreased over the past ten years, environmental lead exposure is still considered a major health threat to children. Current state and federal policies require blood lead testing for children on Medicaid; however, compliance with this requirement continues to be an issue. Many uninsured and commercially insured children are equally at risk for lead poisoning and thousands of them go untested each year. Community blood lead testing is a perfect solution to bring needed services into the community. Common impediments to testing include an inability to get to a testing site, a lack of insurance or means of paying for testing, language barriers, and the need to draw blood in order to test.
Mobile Community Lead Screening provides a means of overcoming these barriers. Mobile screening can bring the testing site to the community rather than having the community go to the testing site. It can provide bi-lingual staff. It can make low cost testing available; and while it is still necessary to draw blood for the test, the blood draw is now much simpler. Thanks to filter paper testing, a simple and quick finger prick and two drops of blood are all that are needed to complete the test. Filter paper is an accurate, efficient and effective way to increase blood lead testing amongst pediatric populations.
Many questions come to mind when thinking about beginning a community blood lead testing program:
How will you identify and reach out to the families?
Which neighborhoods to target?
Where will the families feel comfortable taking their children to receive a blood lead test in the community?
How will we report blood lead test results to the families and provide follow-up services?
How will we pay for the tests?
If these are some of the barriers for you, CLEARCorps/USA can help you find answers to your questions. Please contact us to talk about your screening program!
This is “Edgar” the CLEARCorps mascot used at many screening events!
Mobile Community Lead Screening contact:
Megan Curran de Nieto
Director of Community Health Programs
1522 Albany Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108