New Telegraph

Study: Lead in childhood well water boosts teen delinquency

Researchers in the United States have said exposure to lead in drinking water from private wells during early childhood was associated with an increased risk of being reported for delinquency during teenage years. These are the results of a new study by Indiana University (IU), Duke University, both in the United States and other researchers that use data from Wake County.

The study is published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’. The researchers found that children who get their water from private wells before age six have higher blood lead levels and, as a result, have a 21 per cent higher risk of being reported for any delinquency after age 14, and a 38 per cent increased risk of having a record for a serious complaint, such as felony property or weapons offenses and misdemeanor assault.

Lead author of the study, Jackie MacDonald Gibson said, “We know that lead exposure early in life has been linked to lower intelligent quotient (IQ), reduced lifetime earnings and an increased risk for behavioural problems and criminal activity.” Gibson is the chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the IU School of Public Health- Bloomington.

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