By Elise Viebeck - 05/14/12 05:08 PM EDT
"The threshold level ... is essentially the level at which protective actions would be triggered by doctors, health departments and parents," the letter stated.
Even small amounts of lead exposure can lead to serious health issues, including irreversible brain damage, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The CDC's budget for its lead prevention program was cut from $29 million to $2 million for this fiscal year.
The program funded efforts in 34 states and the District of Columbia to "monitor blood lead screening and respond to every child who has an elevated blood lead level" with home inspections and medical treatment, according to the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, an advocacy group.
The Democrats who wrote to the CDC were: Reps. Edward Markey (Mass.), Henry Waxman (Calif.), Louise Slaughter (N.Y.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Barney Frank (Mass.), Bobby Rush (Ill.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Jim Moran (Va.), Anna Eshoo (Calif.), John Lewis (Ga.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.), Jackie Speier (Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Richard Neal (Mass.), Grace Napolitano (Calif.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Russ Carnahan (Mo.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Niki Tsongas (Mass.), Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Betty McCollum (Minn.) and Steve Rothman (N.J.).