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Thursday, August 22, 2013

UW study finds link between lead paint, discipline problems

Lead paint continues to cause problems in the workplace and in homes throught the nation. Today's post was shared by FairWarning and comes from

A new study that analyzed medical and discipline data from Milwaukee Public Schools found young children who are exposed to lead are nearly three times more likely to be suspended from school by the fourth grade.

Lead — commonly found in paint in older homes and rental properties — may be more responsible for school discipline problems than previously realized, according to the study's author, Michael Amato, a doctoral candidate in the psychology department and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lead has been cited as a contributor to the academic achievement gap between black and white children because the powerful neurotoxin is more likely to be found in low-income housing. High levels of lead in the bloodstream may make children more likely to behave impulsively and may shorten their attention spans, according to previous research.

While previous studies have documented racial disparities in school discipline, few have specified the underlying factors, according to Amato, who believes his is the first study of the link between suspensions and lead exposure.

Nationally, African-American students are three times more likely to be suspended than white students. The same discipline gap was found in the UW study, but 23% of the disparity was explained by differences in rates of lead exposure, even after controlling for income, race/ethnicity and gender.

Researchers led by Amato analyzed medical and school discipline...
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Jon L.Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.