Since the government lowered the threshold for lead poisoning last year, the number of at-risk children has doubled from previous high estimates. High levels of lead in the blood can cause organ damage, low IQ and death.


Lead poisoning can occur from drinking tainted water, as well as exposure to paint, dust and soil from old homes or industrial worksites.

More than half a million U.S. children are now believed to have lead poisoning, roughly twice the previous high estimate, health officials reported Thursday.

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