Bill to Ensure Childhood Lead Screening Introduced by State Legislator

Friday, February 9, 2018

Sacramento– Earlier this week, Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino), introduced AB 2122 that would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to ensure that children enrolled in Medi-Cal receive blood lead screening tests at 12 and 24 months of age. The bill also requires the DHCS to test children between the ages of 2 and 6 if there is no existing lead test and to report its progress on testing all enrolled children.

An analysis of state records by Environmental Working Group found that each year between 2012 and 2016, almost 75% of California toddlers enrolled in Medi-Cal were not tested for lead in their blood. Making matters worse, children enrolled in Medi-Cal are seven times more likely to be lead-poisoned than children from higher-income families.

“It is critical that our most vulnerable Medi-Cal recipients get tested for lead, as even the smallest amount of exposure can cause irreparable harm.,” said Assemblymember Reyes. “Exposure to lead has long term consequences, not only for our vulnerable children, but for entire communities.”

Lead is a highly potent neurotoxin that can cause permanent brain damage in children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even the smallest amount of lead in children can cause mental and physical disorders such as brain damage, delayed body growth and attention deficit issues.

To learn more about AB 2122 or to follow it online, click here.

 

Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.

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Contact: Galen Dobbins, galen.dobbins@asm.ca.gov, (916) 319-2047