Low-level lead exposure and cognitive development in early childhood

Alan L. Mendelsohn, Benard P. Dreyer, Arthur H. Fierman, Carolyn M. Rosen, Lori A. Legano, Hillary A. Kruger, Sylvia W. Lim, Susan Barasch, Loretta Au, Cheryl D. Courtlandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The authors studied toddlers with low-level lead exposure to determine whether adverse developmental effects were evident. The study sample consisted of a cohort of 68 children aged 12 to 36 months who had blood lead levels lower than 25 μg/dL on a routine screening in a large urban public hospital clinic. Children with blood lead levels between 10 and 24.9 μg/dL had a mean Mental Developmental Index (Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Second Edition) score that was 6.3 points lower than that of children with blood lead levels between 0 and 9.9 μg/dL (95% confidence interval: 0.6, 11.9). After adjusting for confounders, the difference was 6.2 points (95% confidence interval: 1.7, 10.8). Pediatricians and public health entities should continue in their efforts to reduce the lead burden through environmental control and ongoing surveillance. J Dev Behav Pediatr 20:425-431, 1999. Index terms: preschool children, lead, cognitive development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-431
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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