[The mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, Francis] Slay cites the efforts to… and reduce lead poisoning in children as some of his most fulfilling work. Regarding the latter, "The drop has been dramatic," he said. "It was over 20 percent when I took office [in April of 2001], and now it's under three percent of those kids tested [who] have elevated levels of lead in their blood. And more kids are being tested."
— Lauren Brucker, "St. Louis' Mayor", in Saint Louis Brief (the alumni magazine of Saint Louis University School of Law), volume 15, issue 1, [2014,] page 14. (The bracketed phrases "The mayor…" and "in April of 2001" were added by me; the bracketed "who" appears in the article.)
There are a few claims here. Two are:
- Mr. Slay is claiming that the number of kids who test positive for lead poisoning has decreased 85% from 20% to 3%. I see no reason to disbelieve him (though confirmation would be nice).
- Ms. Brucker is claiming that the mayor's statement is "[r]egarding the latter", that is regarding the decrease in lead poisoning among kids. In other words, she's claiming that there's been a decrease in the percentage of lead-poisoned kids — not just in the percentage of tested-positive-for-lead-poisoning kids. Note that, precisely because "more kids are being tested", there may not have been a decrease at all in the percentage of lead-poisoned kids, even though there was an 85% decrease in the percentage of tested-positive-for-lead-poisoning kids.
I seek confirmation for either of these claims, especially the latter. If I could also get the actual percentage decrease in lead-poisoned kids, that'd be even better.
(I don't know Mr. Slay's definition of "kids" or Ms. Brucker's of "children", so I guess any known percentage decrease for some class reasonably termed "children" will suffice.)