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Cleveland Elementary Schools Partner with Case to Test Kids for Lead Exposure

photo of lead testing
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY

A Cleveland partnership is wrapping up its lead testing of students in the city’s schools for this year. 

Mound Elementary School Nurse Angelique King reassures kindergartener Darrel as she pricks his finger and begins to collect in a small vile the drops of blood that gather on his skin.

Darrell is one of more than 200 students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District having his blood tested for elevated levels of lead. The testing is the result of a grant from the Prentiss Foundation awarded to Dr. Marilyn Lotas at Case Western Reserve University.

“In this age, 3 to 5, it’s an age of very rapid brain growth, so these kids are particularly vulnerable at this time," Lotas says.

Case has partnered with Cleveland schools to test children at five schools this year, but will expand over the next two years to test children in the 3-5 age range at every school in the district, connecting those with high levels to treatment and other services.

Today is the final day of scheduled testing for 2018, but Lotas says two other schools have requested their assistance and her team is working to get to them before the end of the school year.