Developing Brains Vulnerable to Lead Exposure

Young children are most vulnerable to the effects of lead and other environmental toxins on the brain. The results can be seen as delays in growth, behavior, and learning, which in turn can have an impact on school success. Information on the structure and growth of the brain, the impact of environmental toxins, how to nurture brain development, and screening to identify delays can be found on these pages.

Low Level Lead Exposure Harms Children: A Renewed Call for Primary Prevention - Details the systematic impact of lead exposure on every body system and challenges the nation to engage in primary prevention so that young children are protected from these irreversible lifelong learning, behavior and health effects. Advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lower the intervention blood lead level from 10 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) to 5 mcg/dL.

In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development - Describes how byproducts of an industrial community are contributing to challenges children face to learn, exercise self-control, and participate respectfully in social groups.

Developmental Surveillance and Screening of Infants and Young Children (PDF) - Provides recommendations for screening infants and young children and intervening with families to identify developmental delays and disabilities in the primary care setting to assure access to early intervention services.

Last Revised: January 8, 2018