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Lead exposure and crime rates

affinis's picture

For those who haven't yet seen reporting on the linkage between lead exposure and crime rates - I thought this was worth a QuickHit post. Kevin Drum has been publicizing this research recently. When I first saw the claim that lead exposure was a major explanatory variable for rates of violent crime (i.e. not just an explanatory variable in some individual cases, but a large explanatory factor for overall rates), I was rather skeptical. But when I dug through the underlying research - the evidence is pretty substantial.
America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
Yes, lead poisoning could really be a cause of violent crime
CDC Reports That Lots of Kids Still Suffer From Lead Poisoning
Blogtalk Radio: Sam Wang, Kevin Drum Lead, Crime and Neuroscience
Lead and Crime: A Linkfest