Would make it a goal of the state that all children at risk of lead exposure receive blood lead screening tests, and would require the Department of Public Health to take action, and to require local agencies to take action, necessary to ensure these goals are met. By requiring local agencies to take action to meet these goals, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
AAP Positional Letter
March 26, 2018
The Honorable Ed Hernandez
Chair, Senate Health Committee
State Capitol, Room 2191
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SB 1041 (Leyva) Childhood lead poisoning prevention
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Chair Hernandez,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, supports SB 1041 (Leyva), which would require the California Department of Public Health to annually notify health care providers and, in turn, parents about the risks and effects of lead exposure and of the requirement that all Medi-Cal enrolled children be tested for lead.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no safe blood lead level in children. CDC estimates that children in at least 4 million U.S. households are exposed to high levels of lead. Toxic lead exposure disproportionately impacts low income communities. If not caught early, treated, and further exposure addressed, lead poisoning will lead to permanent and lifelong disabilities. African-American and children in poverty continue to have higher incidence of blood lead concentrations. Lead intoxication has been shown to decrease IQ and cause behavior difficulties (e.g., inattentive, hyperactive, disorganized). Follow- up studies of children with high blood lead levels show higher rates of failure to graduate from high school, reading disabilities, and greater absenteeism in the final year of high school.
According to the Department of Public Health (DPH), 88% of lead-poisoned children are enrolled in Medi-Cal. When Medi-Cal children are lead-tested and those exposed to lead are identified, parents and providers can act to minimize the neurotoxin’s developmental harms. Available data indicate that most Medi-Cal children required to receive these two screenings are not tested. As a result, these young children are at risk of serious developmental problems from toxic lead.
SB 1041 (Leyva) would improve health outcomes and accountability by expanding existing annual DPH reporting requirements to include a lead screening report that contains the number of Medi-Cal enrolled and non-Medi-Cal enrolled children who received blood lead screening tests. SB 1041 would also ensure that children that are enrolled in Medi-Cal are being tested by requiring the California Department of Public Health to notify health care providers and for providers to annually notify parents of the dangers of high lead levels and the existing requirement that Medi-Cal enrolled children be tested for discernible lead levels.
Pediatricians members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 across the state urge you to vote AYE on SB 1041 (Leyva). Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Jayme Congdon, M.D., M.S.
Resident Representative Member, AAP-CA State Government Affairs Committee
American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Senate Health Committee Members
Office of Honorable Connie Leyva, California State Assembly (Author)
AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne; Amanda Schafenacker, MD, Senior Policy Analyst
1 Committee on Environmental Health. “Lead exposure in children: prevention, detection, and management”. Pediatrics. October 2015; 116:4.