Latest Issue of Science News


News

Traces of lead cause outsize harm

Minute amounts of lead in blood are worse for children than scientists had realized, according to new research. Data now suggest that lead affects development of kids' thinking skills at concentrations below 10 micrograms per deciliters (g/dl) of blood. Higher concentrations had previously been recognized generally as harmful to the brain.

In fact, microgram for microgram, lead may pack more punch below 10 g/dl than it does at higher concentrations, according to Richard L. Canfield of Cornell University and his colleagues. They periodically measured blood-lead concentrations in 172 children beginning when the kids were 6 months old and continuing until they were 5 years old. They gave each child an intelligence test at age 3 and at the end of the study.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.