wcpn_rgb_mediumElizabeth Anthony, Ph.D., a senior research associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, spoke with 90.3 FM WCPN for “Going Back To School To Fight Lead Poisoning” on May 27, 2015. Dr. Anthony explained the urgency in getting young children exposed to lead poisoning into programs to help them.

While preventing lead poisoning is the foremost goal, it’s urgent to get those children at risk into preschool programs that can aid their development as well as educate their families into helping prevent further exposure. High blood lead levels in children can correspond with less brain density in certain areas affecting the development of behavior, judgement, language, and more.

“We do want families who have a child with this extra risk to understand what that extra risk could mean to that child and why there’s an even greater urgency for them to seek out the programs for their child and get the extra help,” said Rebekah Dorman, who heads Cuyahoga County’s Invest in Children, a partner of the Poverty Center.

“The gains that are being made by those kids with an elevated blood lead level above five aren’t enough to put them on track with their peers who didn’t have, who didn’t show up in our lead data,” Dr. Anthony explained. High quality preschool programs are mitigating but not eliminating the programs caused by lead poisoning.

“Maybe we should start thinking about it as a brain injury like we would other types of brain injury where we don’t accept the fact that the damage can be done and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Anthony also said.


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