AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine is testing more homes for lead, following a federal recommendation aiming to stop lead exposure before children become sick.

State toxicologist Andrew Smith told the Kennebec Journal ( ) that a new standard for lead levels means the state is intervening in more cases, performing home inspections to determine the source of the lead.

Under a new guideline implemented in September, more than 200 children have qualified for a home inspection. Under the old standard, fewer than 50 would have.

Greg Payne, director of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, applauded the move, saying it gets children out of potentially dangerous homes quickly instead of allowing their lead levels to continue to rise.

The new threshold is based on a 2012 recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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