Lead found in hundreds of Austin children

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The Chicago Tribune published a story earlier this week that shows lead was found in hundreds of Austin children.

“Alarming levels” of brain-damaging lead continue to poison children living in some of the Chicago’s poorest areas, even as the hazard has been largely eliminated in more prosperous neighborhoods, the Tribune investigation found.

Tribune reporter Michael Hawthorne analyzed nearly two decades of data, which showed that a substance that once threatened children throughout the city is now concentrated in the poorest areas of Chicago.

“In the upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood around DePaul University, more than 80 percent of kids tested in 1995 had elevated lead levels — about the same rate as the southeast corner of Austin, one of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods,” Hawthorne reported.

“By 2013 the rate for the DePaul neighborhood had plummeted to zero. But in the same part of Austin, testing found dangerous lead levels in nearly 24 percent of kids tested.”

To read the rest of the story click here.

Click here to view an interactive map that shows by census track the percentage of children tested who had at least 6 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood from 1995 through 2013.

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