Exposure to lead in early childhood might affect kids' performance in school, reveals a study.
The research team from Duke University and North Carolina Central University showed that exposure to lead contributes to lower performances on end-of-grade (EOG) reading tests among minority and low-income children.
"We found a clear dose-response pattern between lead exposure and test performance, with the effects becoming more pronounced as you move from children at the high end to the low end of the test-score curve," said lead investigator Marie Lynn Miranda, director of the Children's Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.
During the study, researchers investigated the blood-lead levels in 4th graders.
The study showed that early childhood exposure to lead, the family's poverty status and parental education all account for end-of-grade (EOG) test-score declines.
On average, exposure to lead accounts for between 7 percent and 16 percent of the decline, with the larger declines associated with higher blood-lead levels.
The study is published in the peer-reviewed journal NeuroToxicology.