Green Buckeye RN

EHN: Anxiety, Inattention, Poor Decisions Increase In Kids With Higher Lead Levels
August 5, 2009, 11:09 am
Filed under: News, Spotlight on...Lead

 Aug 04, 2009

Roy, A, D Bellinger, H Hu, J Schwartz, AS Ettinger, RO Wright, M Bouchard, K Palaniappan and K Balakrishnan. Lead exposure and behavior among young children in Chennai, India. Environmental Health Perspectives doi:10.1289/ehp.0900625.
Synopsis by Kathleen M. McCarty, Sc.D.

Higher blood lead levels in children were associated with specific learning and behavior changes, including more anxiety and deficits in planning, abstract thinking and determining appropriate behavior, finds this large study from India.

A study of young children in India has found that higher blood lead levels are associated with a suite of behavioral and thinking problems that can alter attention, abstract thinking and appropriate behavior. The largest effects and most vulnerable areas found were on executive function and inattention.

This study is one of the first to pinpoint specific childhood behaviors and cognitive skills affected by lead exposure, most notably anxiety, social problems and overall executive function (planning, problem solving, behavior control). The study also contributes further information about newly found links between increased lead exposure and more ADHD-like behavior – especially inattention rather than hyperactivity – in children.

 Read the article at


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