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Lead Exposure

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"Lead Policy and Academic Performance: Insights From Massachusetts"

Programs that reduce the rate of lead exposure and poisoning in children were tied to improved academic achievement in a study of Massachusetts children.

A report published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research compares state test scores for cohorts of 3rd and 4th graders attending school between 2000-09 and blood-lead levels for the same groups of students.

Groups of children with higher levels of blood-lead exposure were likely to do worse on the tests, and as blood-lead levels dropped, student achievement improved yielding a drop of 1 percentage point to 2 percentage points in the share of children with unsatisfactory scores on the state tests over the course of the study period.

Vol. 32, Issue 08, Page 5

Published in Print: October 17, 2012, as Lead Exposure
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