City of Milwaukee Childhood Lead Poisoning
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 500,000 children under the age of 6 have elevated blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) in the United States.
In Wisconsin, results of blood lead tests must be reported to public health officials. In Milwaukee, the prevalence of children with blood lead levels has dramatically declined. The City of Milwaukee Health Department reports that the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels at 10 micrograms/deciliter (µg/dL) has decreased by 90 percent since 1997, while testing has increased by 66 percent during that same time period. At a lower level of exposure, 5 µg/dL, blood lead prevalence among children has declined by nearly 70 percent since 2003.*
However, there is still more that must be done to reduce blood lead levels in Milwaukee children. As of 2016, 3.3 percent of Milwaukee children tested were reported to have blood lead levels at 10 µg/dL and 11.6 percent of Milwaukee children tested were reported to have blood lead tests at 5 µg/dL. The prevalence of childhood lead poisoning remains a significant public health priority.
(*The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered the reference level for elevated blood lead levels from 10 µg/dL to 5 µg/dL in 2012.)
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services' Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program collects data to help lead-poisoned children. Program staff analyze the data to identify at-risk communities and other trends. The interactive Childhood Lead Poisoning Data Explorer Map shows census tract level childhood lead poisoning data for Wisconsin children under age 6.
Using maps to display lead poisoning data helps us:
- Identify where the risk of lead exposure is greater.
- Target efforts to control lead hazards before they poison children.
- Target blood lead testing where children are at higher risk for poisoning.
- Connect children with lead poisoning to recommended services.
- Monitor progress toward eliminating childhood lead poisoning.
- Identify and monitor trends in sources of lead exposure for children.
- Develop and evaluate lead poisoning interventions and programs.
View the Childhood Lead Poisoning Data Explorer Map
Incidence - Defined as the number of children less than 6 years old who have exceeded a limit of lead in the blood (identified at 10 µg/dL) for the very first time in their blood lead history.
Prevalence - Defined as the number of children less than 6 years old who have exceeded a limit of lead in the blood (identified at 5 µg/dL, 10 µg/dL and 20 µg/dL) divided by the total number of children tested for lead in their blood and expressed as a percentage. The time period and age category must be identical for both.
Testing Penetration - Defined as the percentage of children aged 12 through 35 month old in the city of Milwaukee who were reported to be tested at least once in any calendar year. These percentages are based upon the number of blood lead tests reported and the total number of children estimated by the reported birth rate.
Lead-Safe Housing Units
As of December 30, 2016, a total of 17,785 housing units in the City of Milwaukee have been made lead-paint safe through the MHD CLPPP program.
Additional Information on Lead Data and Reporting
Additional information can be found: