May 1, 2022 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lowered the blood lead reference value (BLRV) from 5 µg/dL to 3.5 µg/dL (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report - Update of Blood Lead Reference Value). As of May 1, 2022, State of Michigan Medicaid policy will align with this update (MDHHS Health and Aging Services Administration Bulletin 22-11). The blood lead reference value is based on the 97.5th percentile of the blood lead distribution in U.S. children ages 1-5 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
No level of lead in the blood is safe, and MDHHS welcomes the update of the BLRV for clinical management and public health response for children with lead exposure. As outlined in guidance from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, healthcare professionals should provide follow-up testing and other recommended actions for children with BLL ≥ 3.5 µg/dL.
Blood Lead Reference Value Resources:
- MDHHS Pediatric Blood Lead Level Quick Reference for Primary Care Providers
- Update of Blood Lead Reference Value and Recommendations on the Medical Management of Childhood Lead Exposure MDHHS Health and Aging Services Administration Bulletin 22-11
- CDC Update of the Blood Lead Reference Value - United States, 2021 | MMWR
- CDC Recommended Actions Based on Blood Lead Level CDC - Lead - Recommended Actions Based on Blood Lead Levels
- PEHSU Factsheet Recommendation on Management of Lead Exposure Articles - PEHSU
- AAP Press Release Lower Blood Lead Reference Level Doesn't Change Clinical Management
Visit Michigan’s Environmental Health for Health Care Providers website or call 1-800-648-6942 to learn about other practice-relevant environmental health issues.