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Health Indicator Report of Lead Exposure - Children Born in the Same Year and Tested for Lead Before Age Three Years

Environmental lead is a common toxic metal, present in all areas of the United States. Lead exposure and lead poisoning are preventable. Lead exposure can adversely affect nearly every organ and system in the body, including the nervous, blood, hormonal, kidney, and reproductive systems. Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults. Children from all social and economic levels can be affected. The bodies of young children absorb lead more readily than adults. During the first three years of life, children's brains are growing the fastest, developing the critical connections in the nervous system that control thought, learning, hearing, movement, behavior, and emotions. The normal behaviors of children at this age, such as crawling, exploring, teething, and putting objects in their mouth, put them at an increased risk for lead exposure. Even blood lead levels lower than 5 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) may be associated with negative outcomes for children, such as cognitive impairment and learning disabilities, delayed development, changes in behavior, kidney problems and anemia. There is no known safe level of exposure to lead. The state requires all children enrolled in Medicaid be tested for lead exposure at ages 12 months and 24 months.

Children Born in the Same Year and Tested for Lead Before Age 3 - Percentage by County, New Mexico, 2014


For each year of childhood lead data, between 1%-3% of children were missing data on county of residence; therefore some county-level percentages could change if unknown county data are identified.   Approximately 5% of children were missing county of residence information; therefore some county-level percentages could change if unknown county data are identified.The US measure includes data from the 34 states reporting high quality data to the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming from 2008.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Department of Health Blood Lead Database.
  • Birth Certificate Data, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data Interpretation Issues

Childhood Blood Lead Surveillance data are not randomly sampled or representative of the population. Complete residential addresses are not available for all children tested. Sometimes the address of the clinic is used as a surrogate when the child's address is not available. Vital Statistics birth data do not include children who have moved in or out of the area since birth. Therefore, as a denominator, these data may under or over estimate the number of children eligible for lead exposure testing in the area.


The percentage of children born in the same year and tested before age three years is the number of children born in the same year who were blood lead tested prior to the age of three years divided by the number of children born in that year.


Number of NM resident children born in the same year who were tested for lead prior to the age of three years.


Number of children born to NM residents in the selected year.

Other Objectives

CDC Environmental Public Health Tracking, Nationally Consistent Data and Measures (EPHT NCDMs)

Available Services

The New Mexico Department of Health provides case management for children with elevated blood lead levels (at or above 10 ug/dL).
Page Content Updated On 11/28/2018, Published on 01/03/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Wed, 22 September 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Thu, 3 Jan 2019 11:50:40 MST