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Magellan to Receive Frost & Sullivan 2009 North American Product Innovation Award; Three-Minute LeadCare(R) II Test Identifies Children with Lead Poisoning
Date:3/17/2009

is increasing evidence that there is truly no safe level of lead for young children. The human cost of lead poisoning is devastating to lead-poisoned children and their families. The societal cost is also staggering. Even though asthma affects many more children, the total economic costs pale in comparison: nationally, it is estimated at $2 billion for asthma and $43 billion for lead. That is because the negative effects of even small amounts of lead exposure in a child's first five years reverberate through an entire lifetime. Research shows a correlation between elevated blood-lead levels and lowered IQ, behavior and learning problems, increased drug abuse and crime, and adult health problems -- from dental decay and osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even early cognitive deterioration associated with aging. Studies also show that infants and toddlers exposed to relatively low levels of lead in utero score lower on tests measuring neuro-behavioral development.

The CDC funded the development of LeadCare II as a CLIA-waived device to enable a paradigm shift in lead testing so practitioners can test, educate, and take action to confirm elevated results and treat lead poisoning if necessary -- instantly, on the spot, and all in one visit during the routine well-child check-up. Where it has been implemented, the point-of-care system provides a significant public health benefit, empowering parents and the public health community to help prevent future lead poisoning. Educating parents on the dangers of lead at the same time they see their child's lead-levels come up on the LeadCare II screen has dramatically improved overall compliance with follow-up visits and reduced future lead exposure. For example, in a Michigan county, the number of no-shows for subsequent appointments has dropped by 75 percent since it implemented point-of-care testing. The system also bolsters programs to identify and remove lead hazards.


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