PHY4.B Lead in the blood of children: Percentage of children ages 1–5 with blood lead levels at or above 5 µg/dL by race and Hispanic origin and poverty status, 1999–2004, 2005–2010, and 2011–2016

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Characteristic 1999–2004 2005–2010 2011–2016 2017–2020a
Totalb 7.4 2.7 1.2 0.4
Race and Hispanic originc
White, non-Hispanic 5.7 2.1 1.5 0.4
Black, non-Hispanic 17.6 6.3 2.4 1.7
Mexican American 6.0 1.8 0.3
Poverty status
Below 100% poverty 12.9 5.4 2.2 0.3
100% poverty and above 4.4 1.6 0.6 0.4
‡ Reporting standards not met; estimates are considered unreliable.
a The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) program suspended field operations in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, data collection for the 2019–2020 cycle was not completed. Therefore, data collected from 2019 to March 2020 were combined with data from the 2017–2018 cycle to create a 2017–March 2020 pre-pandemic file. This file covers 3.2 years of data collection. For more information, see:
b Totals include data for racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.
c For 1999–2016, the revised 1997 U.S. Office of Management and Budget standards for data on race and ethnicity were used. Persons could select one or more of five racial groups: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Included in the total but not shown separately are American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and "Two or more races." Data on race and Hispanic origin are collected separately but combined for reporting. Beginning in 2007, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey allows for reporting of both total Hispanics and Mexican Americans; however, estimates reported here are for Mexican Americans to be consistent with earlier years. Persons of Mexican American origin may be of any race.
NOTE: The reference level of 5 µg/dL was the 97.5th percentile of blood lead levels for children ages 1–5 in 2005–2008. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered this reference level to 3.5 µg/dL in 2021 to identify children with elevated blood lead levels.
SOURCE: National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.