Skip Navigation


Back to List


Lead-poisoned Boys Are More Aggressive, Delinquent

small boy holding his face and squinting his eyes

Children's health researchers found that boys with relatively high levels of lead in their bones are more likely to engage in aggressive acts and delinquent behavior than boys with lower bone-lead levels. Follow-up studies also associated high blood-lead levels with antisocial acts. This longitudinal study's initial results, announced in 1996, were confirmed. The study linked both prenatal and postnatal lead exposure to aggression and antisocial behavior.

Tags: children's health, lead


Needleman HL, Riess JA, Tobin MJ, Biesecker GE, Greenhouse JB. 1996. Bone lead levels and delinquent behavior. JAMA 275(5):363-369. [Abstract]  

Dietrich KN, Ris MD, Succop PA, Berger OG, Bornschein RL. 2001. Early exposure to lead and juvenile delinquency. Neurotoxicol Teratol 23(6):511-518. [Abstract]

to Top