The Scafell Project – Achievable

The NSC asserted that existing tests are not reliable enough. However, according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), in the USA in 2017, 2,014,208 tests were performed on children younger than 72 months. This represents 18.7% of this age group. Of these, 3% were found to have BLCs ≥ 5 µg/dL. It should be noted that these data may not include all tests performed where these do not meet the CDC standardisation criteria. The CDC also warn that these data do not represent population-based estimates. In UK terms, the same percentages would result in around 540,000 children being tested and 115,000 children being found to have elevated blood lead levels.

What this shows is that screening children for elevated blood lead levels is clearly achievable in the USA so this should also apply in England. Blood lead concentrations are already measured in England for children with recognised lead toxicity and in workers handling lead. Does the NSC believe these existing tests are not accurate?

The Scafell project should collate this, and other, information, seek endorsement from UK professionals and present this to the NSC showing that testing for elevated lead levels can be simple, cheap and effective.