Many more Maine children in both urban and rural areas of the state are considered at high risk for lead poisoning under updated rules that are prompting an increase in home inspections.
In September, Maine implemented new guidelines for lead exposure among children that conform with federal recommendations. Now, state health officials intervene if a child has at least 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, down from 15 micrograms under the old standard.
That intervention includes inspecting the child’s home to detect the source of the lead. During the first eight months under the updated guidelines, 203 Maine children qualified for home inspections, more than four times the 47 who would have qualified previously.