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ESA LeadCare(R) System Used to Identify Salvadoran Children with Lead Poisoning
Date:4/22/2008

ead exposure earlier in life. Early identification of elevated blood-lead levels is key to mitigating lead's potentially devastating effects. Regular blood-lead screening tests for children under age six, when children are most at risk for lead poisoning, are vital to ensure their health and safety. At that age, they are more likely than older children to be exposed to lead through hand-to-mouth activity, and it is also a critical time in brain development -- when lead can do significant damage. Recent reports have highlighted the prevalence of lead-tainted toys, trinkets, and other products. However, most children are still exposed to lead from older housing stock with deteriorating lead paint, contaminated soil, and old lead pipes. Children can also be exposed to lead through their parents' hands and clothing. Construction workers and others who work with lead, police, military, and firing-range personnel are often exposed to high lead levels, putting their young children at risk.

The LeadCare II system makes lead testing easy, delivering quantitative blood-lead results with only two drops of blood in just three minutes. Far simpler to administer than traditional blood-lead tests, the device can be used with capillary or venous sample, can be combined with other routine waived blood tests, and saves administrative time spent on paper work, tracking, and follow-up. Most important, it improves health outcomes -- children with elevated blood-lead levels can receive immediate intervention, rather than waiting days or weeks for results. In the US, LeadCare tests are reimbursable (CPT code 83655) and cost-effective -- allowing health systems to focus resources on those truly at risk. Parents concerned that their children may have been exposed to lead should ask their pediatrician for this simple test. The system is also being used successfully in industrial-hygiene programs, to test adults who might be exposed to lead as part of their work.

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SOURCE Magellan Biosciences, Inc.
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