Call for Papers  

Article Details

Review Article

Early-Life Lead Exposure: Risks and Neurotoxic Consequences

[ Vol. 31 , Issue. 13 ]


Geir Bjørklund*, Torsak Tippairote, Tony Hangan*, Salvatore Chirumbolo and Massimiliano Peana   Pages 1620 - 1633 ( 14 )


Background: Lead (Pb) does not have any biological function in a human, and it is likely no safe level of Pb in the human body. The Pb exposure impacts are a global concern for their potential neurotoxic consequences. Despite decreasing both the environmental Pb levels and the average blood Pb levels in the survey populations, the lifetime redistribution from the tissues-stored Pb still poses neurotoxic risks from the low-level exposure in later life. The growing fetus and children hold their innate high-susceptible to these Pb-induced neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral effects.

Objective: This article aims to evaluate cumulative studies and insights on the topic of Pb neurotoxicology while assessing the emerging trends in the field.

Results: The Pb-induced neurochemical and neuro-immunological mechanisms are likely responsible for the high-level Pb exposure with the neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral impacts at the initial stages. Early-life Pb exposure can still produce neurodegenerative consequences in later life due to the altered epigenetic imprints and the ongoing endogenous Pb exposure. Several mechanisms contribute to the Pb-induced neurotoxic impacts, including the direct neurochemical effects, the induction of oxidative stress and inflammation through immunologic activations, and epigenetic alterations. Furthermore, the individual nutritional status, such as macro-, micro-, or antioxidant nutrients, can significantly influence the neurotoxic impacts even at low-level exposure to Pb.

Conclusion: The prevention of early-life Pb exposure is, therefore, the critical determinant for alleviating various Pb-induced neurotoxic impacts across the different age groups.


Lead, low-level exposure, neurotoxic, neurodevelopmental, neurobehavioral, neurodegenerative, epigenetic alterations.


Read Full-Text article