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Lead-poisoned boys are more aggressive, delinquent

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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]