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Lead Exposure

  • By: Amy Kiekhaefer
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Although the United States has placed greater restrictions on lead-based products since the 1960s, remaining lead contained in the soil, dust, and paint chips is still a threat for children today. In fact, the U.S. Public of Health Services estimated that one-sixth of children are at risk for lead-related health concerns (Kalat & Wurm, 1999). Children of lower socioeconomic status living in deteriorating homes are the most at risk for lead exposure. Younger children are also susceptible because they are more likely to place objects (e.g., paint chips or toys with lead contaminated dust) in their mouths.

Lead exposure has a wide range of effects on children's development and behavior. Children are especially vulnerable because their bodies are rapidly developing. Lead enters the body through the ...

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