The authors of a study that looked at adult crime and childhood exposure to lead concluded that "prenatal and childhood blood lead concentrations were predictors of adult arrests."
The study looked at arrests among 250 individuals ages 19-24. The 250 were among 376 who had been monitored for lead exposure beginning during the first trimester of pregnancy through age 6 1/2. Maternal blood levels of lead were measured during pregnancy.
The researchers report that "the [rate ratio] for total arrests increased for each five micrograms per deciliter increment in blood lead concentration.” They also said that higher incidence of arrest for violent crime was associated with higher blood concentrations of lead during early childhood.
The study was published by PLoS. (PDFavailable here.)