The Educational Costs of Unhealthy Housing

Essential Question:
What can we learn about the educational costs of unhealthy housing?

Environmental hazards in the home such as lead, mold, allergens, carbon monoxide, pesticides, and radon harm thousands of children in Rhode Island each year. In this story, we examine the educational costs of unhealthy housing, using lead poisoning as our proxy for unhealthy housing.


Every year, thousands of children are exposed to the dangers of lead poisoning, injuries, asthma triggers, and carbon monoxide in their own homes. Because housing quality affects a child’s ability to grow, think, learn, relax, and form critical early bonds, the impact of unhealthy housing on a child’s educational outcomes is substantial. In this story, we’ll use lead poisoning as a proxy for unhealthy housing and examine correlations with various educational measures.

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