Leveraging CHIP to Protect Low-Income Children From Lead

Prepared for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies Program

Despite dramatic improvements over the past few decades, lead poisoning continues to be a serious hazard for many children in the U.S., presenting significant risks to their health and learning. At least four million households with children are exposed to high levels of lead, and approximately half a million U.S. children ages one to five have blood levels for lead that are above the recommended level. 

Lead exposure can cause series physical and neurological damage to children. Even low levels of lead exposure can impact children’s brain development and may result in reduced IQs, shortened attention spans, and hearing and speech problems. Lead exposure also can cause anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. 

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can provide critical financial support to states and local communities who face financing challenges as they seek to implement lead abatement activities to protect children. In a new issue brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Health and Value Strategies Program, Manatt Health describes the CHIP State Plan option (no waiver required) and the opportunity it gives states to make significant reductions in lead exposure and improvements to children’s health.

To access the webinar based on the issue brief and the associated slide deck, click here.