) Exposure to leaded gasoline in childhood may have negatively impacted intelligence and job status across America, according to a recent study. Researchers examined blood samples from more than 500 participants who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline. Data show that participants with more than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood at age 11 had IQs that were 4.25 points lower than less-exposed individuals at age 38. The study also showed that each 5-microgram increase in blood lead levels coincide with up to 1.5 IQ point loss.
“This suggests at the very least that individuals don’t fully recover from lead-related cognitive injuries received in childhood. It also suggests that lead exerts a downward pull on an individual’s cognitive abilities over time regardless of where they start out in life,” said lead study author Aaron Reuben, as reported in Reuters.com
The study also examined the differences in social status among participants and found that those who had more than 10 micrograms of lead in the blood obtained occupations that had lower socioeconomic status levels at age 38 compared with those who had less exposure.
“The downward social mobility we see mirrors the trend in IQ, the decline in occupational status is partially but significantly explained by the loss of IQ. If you’re above the historic level of concern (for lead exposure), you’re doing worse on both. The cognitive deficits associated with lead persisted for decades, and showed in the kinds of occupations people got,” Reuben added. (RELATED: Find more news on lead and other heavy metals at HeavyMetals.news
The findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association................