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Blood Lead Levels

John W. Graef, MD
JAMA. 1987;257(8):1050. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390080040018.
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To the Editor.—  I read with interest the editorial entitled "Now Read This: The SI Units Are Here," published in the May 2, 1986, issue of JAMA.1 In Table 3—"Examples of Conversions to Système International (SI) Units"—I was concerned to find values for lead in blood that may be confusing to clinicians. Although the authors have provided a disclaimer in their footnote on page 2339, disclaimers are not usually read, and, because the acceptable level of lead in blood has been revised downward over the past 15 years, there are still many clinicians who use older values. Contrary to the value of greater than 60 μg/dL (>2.90 μmol/L) listed, the Centers for Disease Control in 1985 recommended 25 μg/dL (1.20 μmol/L) as the upper limit of acceptable values for defining lead poisoning in children. While this value has not been clearly defined in adults, most clinicians who work in


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