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School-age lead exposures most harmful to IQ

High concentrations in children’s blood also linked to brain-tissue losses and future criminality

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4:22pm, May 14, 2009

Testing for lead only in infants and toddlers may be a mistake, a new study suggests. Pediatricians routinely test very young children because this is the age when blood concentrations of the neurotoxic heavy metal tend to be highest. But older children can face significant lead exposures, and lead’s ability to lower IQ, the new study shows, is much greater for exposures in early school-age children than in toddlers.

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