Lead's Link to Violent Crime Tantalizes Researchers

From: Robina Suwol
Date: 17 Oct 2002
Time: 01:07:50
Remote Name:


The sharp drop in U.S. violent crimes during the 1990s may not be attributable to the end of the postwar Baby Boom after all. One scientist who studied correlations in Fairfax County, Virginia, for HUD believes crime fell because children's exposure to airborne lead began dropping in the early 1970s as lead was phased out of gasoline, Environmental Health Perspectives reports this month. The influential magazine is the monthly journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health. Its Focus article this month discusses findings of several studies that found a linear relationship between blood lead levels and reported delinquent acts, such as vandalism, arson, and shoplifting. Researchers agree lead influences behavior, making significantly exposed individuals more aggressive and impulsive, but many say the direct link with crime has not been proved, according to the magazine. A study in EHP last July estimated annual U.S. health care associated with lead poisoning costs $43.4 billion. The magazine has devoted increasing space and resources to children's health issues, from pesticides to dioxins to lead. The October issue announces two scientists have joined the magazine as co-editors of its Children's Health section: Dr. Brenda Eskenazi of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley; and Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.


From: webd
Date: 12 Jun 2005
Time: 10:01:14
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