2 Articles about Lead’s Impact on the Brain

ngd- When I went to work in a medical clinic in late 1970 that supported families with children who were severely brain-injured or who had severe chronic medical conditions, the other staff gave me articles to help bring me up to speed. The second one was research into the effects of lead exposure that was less than the levels that met the criteria for lead poisoning. The conclusion was that there was a sharp increase in ADD in children whose lead levels were only one-quarter of the poisoning threshold. This made such an impression on me, that I still remember my shock...

Understanding How Low Levels of Early Lead Exposure Affect Children’s Life Trajectories

By Hans Grönqvist, J. Peter Nilsson, Per-Olof Robling: For More Info, Go Here…

We study the impact of lead exposure from birth to adulthood and provide evidence on the mechanisms producing these effects.

Following 800,000 children differentially exposed to the phaseout of leaded gasoline in Sweden, we find that even a low exposure affects long-run outcomes, that boys are more affected, and that changes in noncognitive skills explain a sizeable share of the impact on crime and human capital.

The effects are greater above exposure thresholds still relevant for the general population, and reductions in exposure equivalent to the magnitude of the recent redefinition of elevated blood lead levels can increase earnings by 4%.

Black People Deal With the Impact of Childhood Lead Poisoning Well Into Adulthood

By Drew Costley: For More Info, Go Here…

New research reveals a troubling correlation between lead exposure and incarceration.

Remember the water crisis in Flint, Michigan? Even though it began in 2014, there are still families there who bathe their children in bottled water warmed on the stove because the tap water remains contaminated by lead. And the majority of people in Flint who have been affected by lead exposure are Black.

Flint’s residents aren’t alone. Several other American cities with large Black populations have experienced widespread problems with lead exposure because of racist housing policies like redlining. In Oakland, 23 schools were found to have at least one tap with lead levels higher than the federal and state standard between September 2017 and March 2018. Detroit in 2017 had the highest rates of lead poisoning in children out of all the cities in Michigan — 8.8% of all children in the city. In one Detroit zip code, the rate reached 22%. In East Chicago, Indiana, residents of a housing project learned in 2016 that they’ve been living on soil that’s had toxic levels of lead for decades. Last year, a report from Case Western Reserve University found that kids in Cleveland had lead poisoning levels that were greater than or higher than those of kids in Flint.

Now, experts are finding that childhood lead exposure has health consequences that have serious impacts on every stage of life.

Another group of researchers at Case Western has been examining the long-term effects of lead exposure on children in Cleveland, where lead paint in old buildings is a major source of lead poisoning. They published their research in late June.

In their analysis of two sets of ninth grade public school students in Cleveland in the 2007–2008 and 2016–2017 academic years, they found that children who had lead poisoning in early childhood suffered the consequences well into their adulthood. These children were 27% less likely to be on track to kindergarten, 16–27% more likely to enter into the juvenile justice system, and 35% more likely to be incarcerated as adults. In both groups of children, Black children made up the overwhelming majority of lead poisoning cases (82% and 73%).

“The neighborhoods that these kids are being exposed in are clearly the same neighborhoods that were the subject of redlining and then coming forward to disinvestment in properties in those neighborhoods over many decades,” says Fischer. “[It’s] the same neighborhoods that have been seeing the impacts of racism.”

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