Three asymptomatic children, ages 34, 23, and 26 months, with blood lead levels >100 mcg/dL on routine screening are reported from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD. All suffered from pica and one was described as “hyper.” Screening appears to be essential in at risk children if lead poisoning is to be detected and eradicated. [1]

COMMENT. It is unfortunate that children must be used as “lead detectors” before lead violations in homes and schools are corrected and lead abatement instituted. Critics of routine screening at 6 months to 6 years must be impressed by this report and conclude that in certain populations, screening is the only way to prevent childhood morbidity and mortality from lead exposure.