20-Year Study: Lead Linked to Violent Crime and Shrinks the Brain

Thursday, July 10, 2008 by: Heidi Stevenson
Tags: lead poisoning, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) A landmark study of children from birth into adulthood shows definitively that lead exposure leads to violent crime, that there are no safe levels of lead, and that it shrinks the brain. The study was reported in the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a well-respected, peer-reviewed, online journal of medicine.

Lead has no function in the human body. Unlike several other minerals that are necessary at low concentrations but poisonous at high ones, lead is always poisonous. The PLoS study documents this fact quite clearly.

Despite many previous studies that showed strong connections between lead exposure and both crime and brain dysfunction, including ones on animals that were definitive, the naysayers pooh-poohed the data. Statements like, "Well, humans aren't animals, so nothing has been proven," or "Low levels of lead are not a problem," have been common.

It has been assumed that blood levels of lead under 10 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) were safe. The United State's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set that figure as acceptable, in spite of the fact that it's known not to have any meaning. The figure was selected arbitrarily. This study clearly documents the falacy of making such an assumption.

About 310,000 American children between ages one and five have lead exposures over 10 mcg/dL in spite of the banning of leaded fuel years ago. Most exposure is from the paint in houses built before 1978. Because old paint can contain 50% lead, even when painted over with safe coatings, it peels and can contaminate. This is probably the source of 80% of lead intoxication. However, soils in cities are still found to be polluted from old auto exhaust, and new toys are found to be contaminated.

Results of an Earlier Lead Study

The average level of lead in 14,000 Americans who were tested in a study between 1988 and 1994 was 2.58 mcg/dcL of blood. The children of this study had between 4 and 37 mcg/dcL of blood. For every 5 microgram per deciliter increase in children's bloodstream lead, there is a corresponding 50% increase in violent crime when they become adults.

The study of 14,000 people was followed for 12 years. The participants were divided into three groups, based solely on the amount of lead in their blood:

* Low Lead Group: Less than 1.93 mcg/dL

* Medium Lead Group: Between 1.93 and 3.63 mcg/dL

* High Lead Group: Over 3.63 mcg/dL

This study documented that those in the High Lead Group had an 89% increase in risk of heart attack over those in the Low Lead Group. The risk of stroke was 2-1/2 times greater in the High Lead Group.

Keep this study in mind when reading about the results of the recent Cincinnati studies. The implications are shocking.

The Studies

Both reports in the PLoS resulted from a single study of people who were followed while in their mothers' wombs until age 19-24. Women from poor, largely African-American, areas with known high concentrations of lead in the housing were enrolled during the early months of pregnancy. Any woman who was addicted, had diabetes, or a neurological or psychiatric condition was not included. If a woman refused to take part in the prenatal portion of the trial, they were also not included. Any neonate born at less than 35 gestation weeks or under 1500 grams (approximately 3.3 pounds) was not included. Serious medical or genetic problems, or an Apgar score less than 6 eliminated a subject from the trial. Of 376 initial participants qualified and signed up at birth, 250 were followed through ages 19-24. All of these had blood tests through the first six years of life.

Measurements of lead levels were taken of the mothers' blood and in the children either two or four times per year until they reached age 6-1/2. The participants were recruited from Cincinnati prenatal clinics. 376 started the study and 250 completed it.

Statistical methods were used to minimize or eliminate extraneous factors, such as maternal smoking and socioeconomic status.

Study on Crime Related to Lead Levels

The study that reported on crime obtained arrests records for all causes from official Hamilton County records. The results are difficult to ignore, since the study did not focus on comparing the participants with statistics of the general public. Instead, comparisons were made between study participants. General arrest rates and violent crime rates were correlated with childhood blood lead levels. A shocking 50% increase in violent crimes occurred for each 5 mcg/dcL increase in blood lead concentration.

The study concluded, "In a prospective birth cohort, we found that prenatal and childhood blood lead concentrations were predictors of adult arrests." This is a strong statement for any peer-reviewed scientific study to make. There are no qualifiers to indicate any doubt in the results. Their choice of words for the association of blood lead levels with violent crime was almost as strong.

Study on Brain Size Related to Lead Levels

The study demonstrating shrinkage of brain size documents the unlikelihood that confounding -- confusion associated with other factors, such as environmental stresses or poor parenting -- undermines a link between behavior and lead levels. It focused on effects in the brain with exposure to environmental lead. MRIs were used to obtain brain images.

The results showed that the brain's gray matter -- the part associated with intellect and reasoning ability -- was shrunk an average of 1.2%. The part of the brain most significantly affected was the anterior cingulate cortex. This part of the brain is involved in a wide range of functions, both autonomic and mental/emotional. Blood pressure and heart rate are affected, as well as empathy, emotion, and reasoning-knowledge storing abilities.


Did you remember how much greater the risks for stroke and heart disease were for the High Lead Group in the general population study reported earlier? Now consider that every single person in this study from Cincinnati had a significantly higher level of lead than almost all of the high-level participants of the general population study.

Think of the implications on the lives of children raised in such environments. They are doomed to less successful lives and significantly poorer health and earlier death. As these studies document, any antisocial behavior must be considered the result of factors entirely outside their control.

In all likelihood, there will still be claims that no causality link between lead and these results has been shown. That's true. Nonetheless, the lengths to which the authors went to eliminate any other potential cause were great. At this point, it would be obscene not to take these results seriously and act on them. The burden of proof for no link of causality belongs on those who claim there is none.

This study shows also how dangerous it is to assume the best when definitive studies aren't yet done. Blood levels of lead well under the accepted 10 mcg/dL clearly cause severe damage to brains. The children of this study might have had an opportunity for a decent life if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had taken the responsible and ethical stand that proof of lead's safety would be required before any lead exposure would be accepted. Basing regulations for acceptable levels of any known or suspected toxin on proof of toxicity does not support the welfare of citizens.

Finding exactly how lead shrinks brains, destroys a sense of empathy, and wrecks health is not the issue. The issue is how we are going to resolve the problem and what will be done for the people whose lives have been so devastated.


PLoS, "Decreased Brain Volume in Adults with Childhood Lead Exposure", (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?r...)

PLoS, "Association of Prenatal and Childhood Blood Lead Concentrations with Criminal Arrests in Early Childhood", (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?r...)

PLoS, "Neurological and Behavioral Consequences of Childhood Lead Exposure", (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?r...)

Los Angeles Times, "Lead Exposure in Children Linked to Violent Crime", by Thomas H. Maugh II and Marla Cone, (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nati...)

MedicineNet.com, "Lead in Blood: 'Safe' Levels Too High?", (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.a...)

About the author

* Heidi Stevenson, BSc, DIHom, FBIH
* Fellow, British Institute of Homeopathy
* Gaia Health (http://www.gaia-health.com)
* The author is a homeopath who became concerned with medically-induced harm as a result of her own experiences and those of family members. She says that allopathic medicine is the arena that best describes the motto, "Buyer beware."
* Heidi Stevenson provides information about medically-induced disease and disability, along with incisive well-researched articles on major issues in the modern world, so members of the public can protect themselves.
She can be reached through her website: www.gaia-health.com

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.