A third of young California children at risk for lead poisoning are not being tested despite state and federal laws that require it, according to a new study—a problem at least partly addressed by legislation now on the governor’s desk.
Researchers using data from the state Department of Public Health found that 160,000 children 1 and 2 years old who needed testing never received it. That’s a 34 percent failure rate, the study says.
“Our most vulnerable kids, the ones that are the most lead-poisoned, are not getting tested,” said Susan Little, who led the study for the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that crossed the state’s testing reports with census figures. “The state is failing its mandate.”