Saturday, June 21, 2008

Crime Prevention By Reducing Lead Levels In Children?


Two studies showed that people with high levels of lead in childhood grew up with blocks of missing brain cells — and they also were far more likely to be arrested for crimes, especially violent crimes. [...]

They found more than 1 percent of total gray matter in the brain was missing. “The most affected regions included frontal gray matter, specifically the anterior cingulate cortex,” Cecil’s team wrote in a second study. This region is responsible for mood regulation and decision-making.

Men were far more affected than women.

“Our findings also suggest that this structural change is permanent,” they wrote.
The implications are profound, Dietrich said. “Usually the effects of lead poisoning are irreversible,” he said.

Environmental enrichment programs such as those used to help children who are abused may help, he added. “I don’t think they are lost but it certainly is a warning,” he said.

These research findings are another indicator of the importance of dealing with social issues before they become police matters. Unfortunately, the funding of lead testing and containment are considered optional while prisons are considered mandatory once someone has committed a crime and been sentenced.

Too often people view government programs which help parents and children with issues such as lead poisoning as handouts. Those who take this short-sighted view will support policies which are ultimately supportive of results these people hate.

Those people who don't want to waste taxpayers' money helping people are likely to end up paying more for prisons and the management of those who are parole. Paying more doesn't make sense to me, but I don't have an aversion to entitlement programs which make a real difference.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:17 PM   1 comments links to this post


At June 22, 2008 5:25 PM, Anonymous Lynnalexander said...

This is sad, and just messed up. We have only scratched the surface on the impact of toxins and poisons and what effects they may have. We also need to spread the word about risks and make some sensible enforceable rules about the widespread use of lead products.

I was reading about how make up, for example, is too toxic for European standards and so the formula is often different compared to American products. If they can make it safer for them, they can make it safer for all, right? I get a kick out of people who think these companies will do the right thing when evidence always suggests otherwise.


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