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General Laws

Section 193. The director shall establish a program for early identification of cases of lead poisoning. Such program shall systematically screen all children under six years of age for the presence of lead poisoning. The director shall, after consultation with recognized professional medical groups and such other sources as he deems appropriate, promulgate regulations establishing (1) the means by which and the intervals at which children under six years of age shall be screened for lead poisoning and (2) guidelines for the medical follow-up of children found to be lead poisoned. The director may also prescribe a screening schedule for pregnant women, children six years of age and older including such children who exhibit pica, and persons whose cognitive development is delayed or retarded if he finds such additional screening to be medically warranted. Such program shall employ, to the extent possible, residents of the areas in which screening and examinations are conducted, which residents shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter thirty-one, unless required as a condition for receipt of federal funds, or section nine A of chapter thirty.

Such identification program shall, to the extent that all children residing in the commonwealth are not systematically screened, give priority in screenings to children residing, or who have recently resided, in areas where significant numbers of lead poisoning cases have recently been reported or where other reliable evidence indicates that significant numbers of lead poisoning cases may be found.

When the director is informed of a case of lead poisoning pursuant to section one hundred and ninety-one, or otherwise, he shall cause to have screened all other children under six years of age, and such other children as he may find advisable to screen, residing or recently residing in the household of the victim, unless the parents of such child object to said screening because it conflicts with their religious beliefs and practices. The results of such screenings shall be reported to the director, to the person or agency reporting the original case pursuant to section one hundred and ninety-one, and to such other persons or agencies as the director deems advisable.

The director shall maintain comprehensive records of all screenings conducted pursuant to this section. Such records shall be geographically indexed in order to determine the location of areas of relatively high incidence of lead poisoning. Such records shall be public records, subject to the provision of section one hundred and ninety-one relating to the names of screened individuals. A summary of the results of all screenings conducted pursuant to this section shall be released quarterly, or more frequently if the director so determines, to all interested parties.

All cases or probable cases of lead poisoning, as defined by regulation by the director, found in the course of screenings conducted pursuant to this section shall be reported immediately to the affected individual, to his parent or legal guardian if he is a minor, and to the director. The director shall inform such persons or agencies as he deems advisable of the existence of such case or probable case, subject to the provision of section one hundred and ninety-one relating to the names of individuals.

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