Lead and Little Ones

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Story Updated: May 14, 2013

S. are at risk of being exposed to lead in and around their own homes. This toxic metal has been proven to cause learning problems at high levels in the blood-but now a new study shows it might do just as much harm at lower levels. Researchers collected data from the kindergarten records and health files of more than 34 hundred children. They looked at the association between blood lead levels before kindergarten and reading readiness at the start of the school year. The median blood lead level in the children was 4.2 micrograms per deciliter which is below the CDC's current recommendation of 5 micrograms per deciliter in children ages 1 to 5. Over all, nearly 35 percent of the students failed to meet Kindergarten benchmarks for reading readiness. And the researchers concluded that even low blood lead levels may contribute to cognitive problems in children.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines with health information for your entire family.

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