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Childhood lead exposure is linked to low test scores for Black students, study finds

The findings, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), are based on surveys of more than 25,000 fourth graders in NC.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new study led by Duke University found that elevated levels of lead can lead to lower test scores among Black students.

The findings, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), are based on surveys of more than 25,000 fourth graders in North Carolina. The data shows that Black students are disproportionately exposed to lead in racially segregated neighborhoods and that these stressors are linked to poor test scores in reading among Black youth relative to their white peers. 

“This is not surprising because lead is a known neurotoxicant,” Mercedes Bravo, the study’s lead author and an assistant research professor of global health at Duke University, told NBC News in an email.

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Read the full story on NBCnews.com

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