Skip to main content

Is exposure to lead a reason for Manitoba's high violent crime rate?

Manitoba has the highest violent crime rate in Canada.   The rate is more than twice as high as most other provinces as you can see from the figure below.   Why is this? 

In a recently released report, I explore the possibility that lead pollution and contamination could be a reason for this high crime rate.  A great deal of evidence now shows that lead can be a reason for a high crime rate. For example the graph shown below is taken from a study in New Orleans.  Lead emissions from leaded gasoline peaked in New Orleans in the  1970s and then decreased rapidly when lead was removed from gasoline (blue line).   Twenty years later there was a peak in violent crime in New Orleans - a peak which corresponded closely to the  peak in leaded gasoline twenty years earlier (purple line).  As has been shown in numerous other studies, which we reference in our report, lead impacts the developing brain during fetal life and in the first few years after birth.   This impact changes the brain and is reflected about 20 years later in an increase in violent crime.   
In my report on lead and crime, I explore the reasons why lead is a cause of crime.  Lead alters the  brain so that children have difficulty learning and their reading progresses slowly,    At the same time the lead has an impact on behaviour so that children affected by lead are more  impulsive, are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and have less self control.  As a result these children often struggle in school and become frustrated, and too often they drop out of, or are suspended from school.  These children, are more likely to engage in substance abuse (whether alcohol or drugs), are more likely to have mental health and addictions issues and are more likely to become juvenile delinquents.   All these are on the pathway from lead exposure to crime as shown in the figure below. 
The good news is that intervention early in childhood can prevent the progression from lead exposure to crime.   The figure below shows the findings of a study conducted in Charlotte and Mecklenberg County in North Carolina.  In this figure you can see as the concentration of lead in the blood of children (aged 1-3 years of age) increases from 1 ug/dL to 10 ug/dL, there is an increase in arrests for violent crime in later years.  However in a  group of children who initially tested at  10 ug/dL or more, who received an intervention (10-I), the violent crime arrests were dramatically reduced.   The intervention consisted of a vigorous approach to reducing exposure to lead (lead remediation), addressing nutritional issues (poor  nutrition can lead to increased lead absorption and lead toxicity), and addressing learning and behavioural issues.  

There is a lot of evidence that there has been too much lead contamination in Winnipeg and in other parts of Manitoba (including from industry, from lead in paint and lead in our drinking water from lead pipes).   We need to act in Manitoba to reduce lead exposure, to test children early in life and to intervene early on whenever a child has a high blood lead level.  For more see the report "Lead and Crime in Manitoba: Urgent Action Needed" by clicking on this link


  1. Interesting; how much Lead pollution is in Manitoba compared to other provinces? I think that would be an insightful statistic if it’s measurable

  2. I have been with the virus for 2 years when i was introduced by a blogger who also narrated Her story online on how she was cured by a herbal medication which was sent by doctor chala, am telling you today that my test results come out negative. Contact Dr chala on his email address or you can visit his website on http://drchalaherbalhome.godaddysites... or


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations

Manitoba Liberal accomplishments

  Examples of Manitoba Liberal accomplishments in the last three years Ensured that 2,000 Manitoba fishers were able to earn a living in 2020   (To see the full story click on this link ). Introduced a bill that includes retired teachers on the Pension Investment Board which governs their pension investments. Introduced amendments to ensure school aged children are included in childcare and early childhood education plans moving forward. Called for improvements in the management of the COVID pandemic: ·          We called for attention to personal care homes even before there was a single case in a personal care home. ·            We called for a rapid response team to address outbreaks in personal care homes months before the PCs acted.  ·          We called for a science-based approach to preparing schools to   improve ventilation and humidity long before the PCs acted. Helped hundreds of individuals with issues during the pandemic including those on social assistance

We need a more precise and detailed provincial plan to address the coronoavirus - Covid-19

With increasing evidence that the coronavirus Covid-19 is spreading globally, it is important that Manitoba have a clear plan to deal with a number of critical issues.  Having a clear plan will reduce people's anxiety and allow people to better plan individually.  So far the Pallister government either has not fully planned for Covid-19, or it has not released its plan.  We put out a press release this morning calling for the release of such a clear plan by the province.  Manitoba Liberals: The Time for a Coronavirus Plan is Now WINNIPEG – With new coronavirus cases emerging in South Korea, Italy and elsewhere around the world, Manitoba Liberals say the Manitoba Government needs to show they are ready with a plan to ensure Manitobans stay as safe as possible in the likely case that the virus reaches Manitoba. The virus has been spreading around the world, with 82,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths. While it started in China, there have been recent outbreaks in South Kore