Blame It On The Lead?

The most recent issue of Mother Jones includes a fascinating article about the decline in violent crime that has accompanied the removal of lead from gasoline, paint, and other materials. Now, Chicago Magazine's Whet Moser brings the issue closer to home, citing the connections between lead and student achievement, and linking to research suggesting that the problem of lead poisoning, while little discussed any more, may still be playing a role in CPS students' lives (Lead, Violence, and Society). He cites research from UIC showing that roughly 3/4 of students studied in the mid-2000s -- those now in high school -- had blood lead levels "high enough to be considered poisoned, according to standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."The costs of removing lead from soil and other places it remains are high, according to Moser, but the returns are much higher.

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