Mayo Clinic writes that lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, generally over a period of months or years. Just small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children under the age of 6 have been found to be especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At extremely high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal. Science Daily has reported on Feb. 11, 2013, Is Lead Poisoning Behind Some Juvenile Crime?
Lead is a common element which is found in old paints, including those which were once used on children's toys, soil, old piping, water, and the atmosphere from lead-containing vehicular fuels. Although at high doses it is lethal, it appears to often cause seemingly trivial symptoms such as headaches. However, in children it has been found lead can also lead to irreversible damage to the organs, the kidneys in particular, and the nervous system including the brain. The early detection of contaminated sources is important to prevent children from being harmed. It has been found that the effects of high lead exposure in children can result in learning disabilities, behavioral problems, lowered intelligence, stunted growth, and hearing impairment.
Summer Miller of Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has suggested that exposure to harmful quantities of lead may lead to juvenile delinquency. She has said,"Very small amounts of lead are associated with toxicity. There have been discrepancies amongst researchers in determining the levels indicating lead poisoning. Thus, it has been reported that levels as low as 10 micrograms per deciliter show enough lead exposure to diagnose lead poisoning." Miller has also said, "Published research shows that lead exposure and criminality is linked to evidence of poorer intelligence, low communication skills, and behavioral problems, such as vandalism and bullying." In other studies it has been found that delinquent juveniles have raised concentration of lead in their bones in comparison to that in "non-delinquent" juveniles.