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Effects Of Lead Exposure On Student Achievement

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Reginald Cureton, at a year old, was diagnosed with four times the amount of lead in his blood required for a child to be identified as having lead poisoning. Now 12, he’s making strides in a smaller school; but Reginald is not unique.

While lead has been linked to negative school performance among poor and African American students in Rhode Island, North Carolina and Texas, little has been done for affected children.

However, a new study in Detroit of 21,000 children in 3rd, 5th and 8th grades, has created attention and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is responding to the research. Another investigation involving health experts has developed interventions that have shown success on IQ and achievement tests for children impacted by lead.

These studies are promising and have relevance for cities like Chicago and Philadelphia.

Learn more on this important work in Education Week.