Research Links Lead Exposure to ADHD

Posted January 23, 2009 by

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In the past few years, there has been quite a bit of research done on the link between lead exposure and ADHD. Last year, a study conducted at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center estimated that lead levels of more than 1.3 micrograms per deciliter may account for more than 500,000 cases of ADHD among children ages 8 to 15 nationwide.

This research is consistent with previous findings.  An article in Science Daily on a similar study conducted in 2007 by Michigan State University provides additional information on this topic.  Parents who suspect their child may have been exposed to lead around their home or some other location should share this information with their child’s physician.


Dr Robert Myers is a child psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working with children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and learning disabilities and is the creator of the Total Focus Program. Dr Myers is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine. "Dr Bob" has provided practical information for parents as a radio talk show host and as editor of Child Development Institute's website, which reaches 3 million parents each year. Dr. Myers earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

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  1. Elisabeth Wilkins, EP Editor Report

    Linda, one of the sources seems to be old houses, which contain lead paint. Here is a quote from the study conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center: “Interior renovation of older housing is associated with a modest increase in children’s blood lead level (BLL) and associated long-term health risks.”

  2. Annita Woz Report

    Have you heard about the mercury content found in high fructose corn syryp? wonder if that has any links to issues, since that hfc is in everything.

  3. Louise Sanborn Report

    Dear Momof3: I think it depends on how much lead your daughter has in her system, if any. (You said her lead levels “came out fine,” but it might be good to go back and look at the exact number.) I would encourage you to share this research with her pediatrician and discuss it with him/her.

  4. momof3 Report

    My daughter’s lead levels come out fine at the Doctor’s office at her check ups. Is this article saying that it doesn’t have to be a high level and that we should be looking for a lower level of lead concentration?



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