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Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new and stricter standards for lead poisoning in children on Thursday.

Why it matters: The new standard means the number of children ages 1 to 5 considered to have high blood lead levels will more than double from 200,000 to nearly 500,00, according to AP.

  • The update lowered the blood level reference value (BLRV) from five micrograms per deciliter of blood to 3.5 as the new standard for evaluating high lead exposure.

Details: The BLRV is based on the 97.5 percentile of blood lead levels in children ages 1 to 5 and is based on national survey data, according to the CDC.

  • In 2012, the CDC pledged to update the definition every four years based on current blood lead data, but the update was halted during the Trump administration, per AP.

The big picture: In September, a study found that more than half of children under 6 years old in the U.S. had detectable lead levels in their blood.

  • Children of color, those living in low-income households and immigrants or refugees are "more likely to live in communities where lead is pervasive," according to the CDC.

What they're saying: “No level of lead is safe and yet, more than half of our nation’s children are at risk of lead exposure, often in their own home,” Xavier Becerra, Health and Human Services secretary, said in a statement.

Go deeper: Lead exposures in children persist

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Nov 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Why more Americans are going childless

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A Pew survey late last week found that 44% of Americans between 18 and 49 who aren't parents say it is not too likely or not at all likely that they will have children — an increase of 7 percentage points from 2018.

Why it matters: The shift could lead to smaller family Thanksgiving dinners and major social and economic changes, as children become rarer in many parts of the country and more American adults reach old age with little to no family to support them.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.