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Mild lead levels suspension hb lead conf


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Mild lead levels suspension hb lead conf

  1. 1. ,@gtoppo USATODAY Scientists have long known that children with high levels oftoxic lead in their bloodstream are more likely than others to behave impulsively, have shorter attention spans and lower lQs and do poorly in school Research out Tuesday finds that even children with just moderate levels of lead in their first three years of life are nearly three times as likely to be suspended from school by the time they're 9 or 10 as, those whose blood-lead levels were much lower. The study, appearing in the journal Envirorunental Research, analyzed medical and school discipline records of 3,763 children in Milwaukee Public Schools. The federal Centers for DiSease Control and Prevention last year told physicians that there's, essentially no safe level oflead, but the agency previously said that children with 10 to 20 microgramS oflead per deciliter of blood had enough of the toxin in their 'systems to present a "level of concern." 'Children with 5 or fewer micrograrils of lead were considered safe, more or less, because the margin of error in measuring blood-lead levels put themessentially at zero. ' Researchers, led by Michael Amato of the psychology department of the University of WISconsin-Madison, studied children whose bloodlead levels were between 10 and 20 micrograms and compared them with children whose levels were be- Hans Steiner, a professor' ofpsychiatry at Stanford University and an ,attending physician at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, said the findings could help schools strugglingwithbehavior problems,including those in Silicon Valley, for whom he has consulted for years. ''They're fairly sophisticated and well-funded," Steiner said of schools in 'California's high-tech corridor, low 5. Children at the "acute end of "and this would not even occur to poisoning," with more than 20 mi- them." crograms, had long been studied, he In Milwaukee, 'long-standing prosaid, but researchers knewless about grams to, get rid of lead in kids' those in the moderate range. ' homes have cleaned up the most Nearly one in three students ex- heavily contaminated sites, but Amaposed to lead had been suspended, to said the city faces a bigger chalcompared withjiIst over one in 10 of lenge cleaning up places that aren't those not exposed. so obviously affected. Lead exposure, the researchers ''There has been quite a lot of imcalculated, explained 23% of the gap provement in Milwaukee over the in suspension rates between black past 10 years," he said, ''but there is a and white Milwaukee students. long way to go." Researchers studied children whose blood-lead leveis were between 10 and 20 micrograms and. compar~d them with children whose levels ~ere below five. c + •• '!A