Monday, May 24, 2010

Lead Poisoning & Special Ed - Revisited

Contains LeadImage by The Rocketeer via Flickr

I recently ran a post about the outrageously high level of lead poisoning in the children in the Detroit public school system. I'm still alarmed. How are we pumping these kids so full of lead.

A couple of astute readers brought up the connection that lead poisoning is at least one cause of autism or autism symptoms in young children. The connection with special education law becomes somewhat clearer.

Here , for example, is a study published in 2005 that further develops the link between lead poisoning and autism. The results are frightening.

Anybody interested in waging a campaign to detoxify our kids? This is apparently a very serious issue. What are the levels of lead poisoning in the children in your community? Do you know?

I also wonder if the poverty issue is separate from or a part of this issue. Do poor kids eat and breathe more lead?

This is 2010. Can't we find a way to keep lead away from our kids? What are your thoughts?

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  1. There is an organization in Detroit that is working on lead poisoning called ClearCorps - They do some good stuff, but obviously the problem is pervasive and movement in Detroit can be difficult. I am glad to see this topic though because I don't think there is much awareness about lead poisoning and the connection between that and disability.

  2. 4/22/10 new fed regulations went into effect, treating lead as akin to asbestos... in my experience, states are generally a bit slow on implementation (see, for example, accessibility under the ADA) and schools are all too often exempted from requirements. ALSO, immediate remediation is usually not required, rather the rules operate where there are building alterations taking place.

  3. Thanks Alison,

    I appreciate your comment.


  4. Thanks Anon,

    Do you have a citation for the new regs? Does it just apply to remodeling like asbestos or does it apply to schools specifically?


  5. EPA site (sorry, don't have time to pull up the Register):
    applies to remodeling/alterations... NOTE that several States have been exempted, citing existing rules equal to or stronger than the EPA standard.

  6. I have a son with an ASD and to this day I think that lead was the culprit. When my wife was pregnant with my son we lived in an older house with lead in the painted walls. At one point, we had some work done and the paint on the walls was disturbed while knocking walls down. If we had known that the paint was lead based maybe we could have avoided this? I firmly believe this was what happened to my son.