CLEVELAND, Ohio — A new study says about one-fourth of kindergarteners in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District have a history of elevated lead in their blood.
The study, led by Case Western Reserve University, says Cleveland has markedly higher lead exposure among children compared to many other communities. It says the primary threat of lead exposure comes from leaded paint in homes built before 1978 when there is deterioration and lack of maintenance.
The most recent data shows that 25 percent of CMSD kindergarteners tested at an elevated level of lead at least once before the age of six.
The study involved a total of 10,397 children during school years dating back to 2014.
The neighborhoods with the highest proportion of kindergarteners with a history of elevated blood lead levels are:
2.) St. Clair-Superior
4.) Broadway-Slavic Village
The study says elevated blood lead level in early childhood is associated with an increased risk of academic and behavioural problems when children become school age.
The study states:
“The prevalence of children with special learning needs stemming from lead exposure in
classrooms has an impact on the instructional practices of teachers. To the extent that
these children experience developmental delays that put them behind their nonexposed
peers, they will require additional instructional supports and time in order to close the gap.
Similarly, these children may also display behaviors that make them more challenging to
teach. Combined, these two dimensions make these children more likely to be identified for
special educational supports and be subject to more in-school disciplinary actions.”