In 2018 the NSC recommended against screening for lead poisoning. The reasons given were:
- the number of children affected in the UK is currently not known
- the test was not reliable enough
- treatments in children with mild symptoms have not been proven and may also be harmful
The three parts of the mission of the Scafell Project address each of these reasons.
A detailed submission was presented to the NSC in 2018 by associates of Lead Safe World dealing with these questions in some detail. However, this was not effective in persuading the NSC to change their recommendation. The evidence presented at that time can be found on the NSC web site.
The NSC had also commissioned an external review from Bazian Limited. Unless there are personnel changes, it would be likely that Bazian would not want to change their recommendation, so we should ask the NSC to use another organisation to perform the next review. The Scafell Project could look for alternatives, perhaps from the USA, where there is more experience.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, Jo Churchill MP, has stated that “prevalence is likely to be a higher concern in at-risk populations, in whom lead exposure may be a public health concern”. This statement could be used to support the project’s submission to the NSC.