Nov 1, 1988

Low-level lead exposure, social class, and infant development

Neurotoxicology and Teratology
David C BellingerM B Rabinowitz


A prospective cohort study was conducted to assess the association between early development and low-level prenatal and postnatal lead exposure. Infants' performance between 6 and 24 months on the Mental Development Index of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development declined with increasing concentration of lead in blood, but the decline varied with children's age at exposure, level of exposure, and socioeconomic status. Within the second year of life, the performance of children in lower socioeconomic strata was adversely affected at lower levels of prenatal exposure (blood lead levels of 6 to 7 micrograms/dl) than was the performance of children in higher socioeconomic strata. However, even the performance of these advantaged infants was lower when cord blood lead level exceeded 10 micrograms/dl, well below the figure currently regarded as the maximum permissable level for young children. Exploratory analyses suggested that early postnatal blood lead levels between 10 and 25 micrograms/dl were also associated with lower Mental Development Index scores, but only among children in lower socioeconomic strata.

  • References23
  • Citations76

Mentioned in this Paper

Blood Lead
Bayley Scale of Infant Development
Prenatal brand of multivitamin
Infant Development
In Blood
Lead Measurement
Socioeconomic Status
Umbilical Cord Blood
Lead Poisoning

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.

LRRK2 & Immunity During Infection

Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a risk-factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. However, LRRK2 has been shown to function as a central regulator of vesicular trafficking, infection, immunity, and inflammation. Here is the latest research on the role of this kinase on immunity during infection.

Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS or APLS), is an autoimmune, hypercoagulable state caused by the presence of antibodies directed against phospholipids.

Meningococcal Myelitis

Meningococcal myelitis is characterized by inflammation and myelin damage to the meninges and spinal cord. Discover the latest research on meningococcal myelitis here.

Alzheimer's Disease: MS4A

Variants within membrane-spanning 4-domains subfamily A (MS4A) gene cluster have recently been implicated in Alzheimer's disease by recent genome-wide association studies. Here is the latest research.