CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have released findings of new studies on childhood lead exposure.
Researchers in partnership with the Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children initiative focused their work on children in Cleveland the Cuyahoga County.
Highlights of the studies found that one-fourth of kindergartners in Cleveland public schools have a history of elevated lead in their blood.
Researchers said the neighborhoods with the highest proportions of resident kindergartners who have a history of elevated blood lead levels are Glenville, St. Clair-Superior, Buckeye -Woodhill, Broadway-Slavic Village and Stockyards.
Authors of the study said, "Although rates of children with elevated blood lead levels above the current public health threshold for concern have been on the decline, children in Cuyahoga County still account for 41 percent of the children in Ohio with elevated lead levels."
Researchers also discovered that despite Medicaid rules that mandate testing at ages 1 and 2, only half of children on Medicaid in Cuyahoga County were tested at age 1 and only 34-percent were tested at age 2.
State health officials indicate the primary source of lead exposure comes from paint dust and chips in homes built before 1978. Exposure can also come from soil and water.
Medical experts say lead exposure and poisoning can impact a child’s IQ, cognitive development, executive functioning and self-control and performance on school-readiness assessments and early grade proficiency tests.
Ohio Department of Health - Lead Resources
City of Cleveland - Lead Hazard Control Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Lead Resources