State Agency Charged With Monitoring Lead Exposure Isn’t Doing a Good Job, Auditor Finds

The state agencies charged with monitoring exposure to lead have “failed to adequately accomplish the duties with which they have been entrusted,” the state auditor reported January 7.

For example, the auditor found that the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Department of Public Health did not follow state law that generally requires that children enrolled in Medi-Cal receive tests for elevated lead levels at the ages of one and two years.

“When we reviewed data maintained by DHCS, we found that from fiscal years 2009-10 through 2017- 18, more than 1.4 million of the 2.9 million one- and two-year-old children enrolled in Medi-Cal did not receive any of the required tests, and another 740,000 children missed one of the two tests,” the auditor stated. “Many of these children live in areas of the State with high occurrences of elevated lead levels, making the missed tests even more troubling.”


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