Study Suggests Lead Poisoning is Not Rare

DETROIT, May 16 (UPI) — A collaborative study in Detroit showed that low-performing students have a higher level of lead poisoning than students who are performing well.

The study conducted by the Detroit Public Schools and the Department of Health & Wellness Promotion found 60 percent of public school students in Detroit who received sub-par grades on standardized tests in 2008 had higher-than-normal lead levels in their blood, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.


Students in special education programs were also prone to elevated levels of lead, the study showed.

Once it enters the system, lead is known to affect neural functioning for life, the newspaper said.

“For years, we’ve blamed the schools and the teachers for kids failing. We haven’t seen this connection with lead before. But I see evidence of it everywhere,” said Brenda Gelman-Berkowitz, a school social worker.

Throughout the district, 22,755 students out of about 39,000 had some issues with lead poisoning in their medical histories. The study found only 23 students out of 39,199 tested had no lead in their systems.

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