Early Childhood Lead Exposure in Cuyahoga County and the Impact on Kindergarten Readiness

The Center on Urban Poverty & Community Development has released two research briefs related to lead exposure and children. The negative effects of lead have been well documented and include damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed development and decreased IQ, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.

In the first brief, produced in collaboration with Cuyahoga County's Office of Early Childhood, Invest in Children, Center researchers explored the extent to which lead screening is occurring in Cuyahoga County, the prevalence of lead exposure and how elevated lead exposure is related to kindergarten readiness.

Link to the brief by Anthony, Steh, Salas Atwell, & Fischer, 2019

Read the article "High-quality pre-K doesn’t get most lead-poisoned children ready for kindergarten" on cleveland.com.

In the second brief, Center researchers examined the prevalence of lead exposure during early childhood for children enrolling in Cleveland Metropolitan School District kindergartens over a 3 year period. Overall, one-quarter of tested kindergarteners had a confirmed elevated blood lead level test prior to kindergarten. However, in some schools, one-third to nearly on-half of kindergarteners showed an elevated blood lead level prior to school.

Link to the brief by Fischer, Steh, & Chan, 2019

Read the article on " 'An uphill battle’: Lead poisoning stunts students’ learning while Cleveland leaders fail to tackle lingering problem" on cleveland.com.