Evaluation of the Blood Lead Screening Component of the Southern Nevada Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Context: While public health programs and policies have worked to reduce lead exposure, lead poisoning remains a major preventable public health concern in the United States. Objective: In Clark County, Nevada, blood lead level (BLL) screening has historically been sparse. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of the Southern Nevada Childhood Lead Poisoning & Prevention Program (CLPPP) in increasing screening efforts and identifying children with elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs). Main Outcomes: The proportion of children screened after the implementation of the CLPPP and the number of children identified with detectable BLLs. Results: A total of 43 028 BLL results for children younger than 6 years were assessed from 2006 to 2011. More than 19% of children tested during the project period had a detectable BLL. The number of BLL tests for children younger than 6 years increased from 4180 in 2005-2006 to 9304 in just the second year of CLPPP implementation. Once the initial implementation grant was over and additional funding was unavailable, the BLL screening once again declined to 5541 in 2016-2017. Conclusion: Evaluation of CLPPP activities suggests that outreach and education efforts, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, played a significant role in increasing blood lead screening in Southern Nevada. However, despite these efforts, less than 5% of all children younger than 6 years were screened, which has declined further after the end of federal support.