New study links lead poisoning to low test scores among Detroit students

Learning can be just as much a physical process as it is psychological. Most of us are no stranger to the fact that environmental factors can impact our ability to concentrate.

One powerful ecological threat to students is on the rise in Detroit. With some of the highest levels of lead poisoning in the nation, children in the city’s public schools face a tremendous challenge.

Lead poisoning has its clear effects on one’s health. A recent study conducted in Detroit Public Schools has revealed the negative impact that the environmental menace has on children’s ability to focus and concentrate. Researches compared blood tests to standardized tests for over 21,000 students in Detroit to determine that increased lead poisoning in a child’s blood increases the likelihood of him or her receiving lower test scores.

What’s responsible for the high rate of lead poisoning in Detroit? Researchers blame the city’s older homes.

Shockingly, many children have come in contact with this possible danger. In 2010, a report found that of 39, 199 students, only 23 of them did not have lead in their systems.

The Center for Disease Control gives a level of concern for lead poisoning that is 5 micro-grams per deciliter. The study tested students with 2 to 5 micro-grams and found that they were 33% more likely to perform poorly on tests. It furthermore, discovered that students with a lever above 5 micro-grams were 50% more likely to perform poorly.  

It’s one more challenge that our inner city school-aged children don’t need. It will be imperative that researchers work to find a possible solution to the problem, so that our students have just as much a fair shot as others when it comes to learning.

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