The New York City Bureau of Lead Poisoning Control (BLPC), created in 1970, is the largest CLPPP in the country ( 1 ).
BLPC has the responsibility for screening children for lead poisoning, facilitating and monitoring screening conducted by health-care providers, inspecting dwellings of lead-poisoned children for lead-based paint, and ensuring that lead-paint hazards are abated when identified.
Two screening methods are used by providers reporting to BLPC. In approximately 60% of screening tests, portable hematofluorometers are used to measure zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) (11 ) on site from capillary blood samples.
Because laboratory tests for lead toxicity reported to BLPC include follow-up tests, estimates of the number of persons screened are obtained by multiplying the number of tests by 0.92, the estimated proportion of tests that are screening tests (BLPC, unpublished data).
In 1988, an estimated 229,365 New York City children had screening tests for lead poisoning that were reported to BLPC. Among these children, 694 new cases of lead poisoning were detected (Table 1).
Asians and Pacific Islanders accounted for 41% of "other" children enrolled at city clinics and hospitals; the BLPC case registry does not include a separate category for Asians or Pacific Islanders.
BLPC data indicated that the number of children screened annually was 27% greater in 1989 than in 1986, the first full year in which current lead-poisoning criteria were used (Figure 3).
BLPC data indicate that childhood lead poisoning is a persistent public health problem in New York City, as it is in many other cities (1).