Navigation Links
Historic legacy of lead pollution persists despite regulatory efforts
Date:2/16/2013

Efforts to reduce lead pollution have paid off in many ways, yet the problem persists and will probably continue to affect the health of people and animals well into the future, according to experts speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston.

"Things have substantially improved with the virtual elimination of leaded gasoline, restrictions on lead paint, and other efforts to limit releases of industrial lead into the environment. But the historic legacy of lead pollution persists, and new inputs of industrial lead are adding to it," said A. Russell Flegal, professor of environmental toxicology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Flegal will present a history of industrial lead contamination and explain why the problem won't go away in a AAAS symposium on Saturday, February 16. The good news, he said, is that atmospheric lead concentrations in the United States have fallen by 89 percent in the past three decades, and average blood lead levels in U.S. children have shown a corresponding decline, from 15 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) in 1976 to 1.3 ug/dL in 2008.

The bad news is that blood lead levels are still about 100 times higher than the natural background level, and there is no known threshold for lead toxicity. In other words, even tiny amounts of lead in the body can be harmful.

Lead pollution is a 5,000-year-old problem, Flegal said, citing elevated lead levels in Chinese lake sediments deposited during the Bronze Age. Recent records from U.S. lake sediments show decreases in lead pollution since the phasing out of leaded gasoline began in the 1970s. But industrial activities around the globe continue to release more lead into the environment. Major sources of lead emissions include the burning of coal, especially in developing countries such as China and India. Lead from these sources spreads around the globe, so that environmental lead contamination can be detected even in "pristine" environments such as the Arctic and the Swiss Alps, Flegal said.

In addition, consumer products contaminated with lead continue to enter the U.S. from other countries through global trade. These include some foods, health products, and children's toys. Just last year, U.S. customs officials seized 1,400 Halloween pirate costumes imported from China that contained 11 times the allowable level of lead.

Unlike organic pollutants, lead never degrades. To illustrate the persistence of lead in the environment, Flegal cites a 2005 study showing that 90 percent of the current atmospheric lead pollution in the Los Angeles basin originally came from leaded gasoline. Lead particles continue to be deposited on the ground and resuspended into the air decades after their original source was eliminated. Studies by Flegal and others also show that forest fires in California remobilize lead that was deposited in soils decades ago.

"It will take decades to centuries to purge these historic depositions from the environment," Flegal said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Guyana government and Panthera sign historic jaguar conservation agreement
2. New study shows effects of prehistoric nocturnal life on mammalian vision
3. Akaibu and Haystac Partner to Leverage Legacy Archive Assets
4. Legacy bead program helps children and their families cope with life-threatening illnesses
5. Air pollution primes children for asthma-related cockroach allergy
6. Maternal exposure to outdoor air pollution associated with low birth weights worldwide
7. Study Sees Possible Link Between Air Pollution and Autism Risk
8. Air pollution, gone with the wind
9. Gestational exposure to urban air pollution linked to vitamin D deficiency in newborns
10. UT Dallas engineers identify material that reduces pollution from diesel engines
11. Using Exhaust Fan on a Gas Stove Cuts Pollution: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... The 89th Academy Awards will be celebrated this ... Education Policy Center Bunkum Award. We invite you to enjoy our 11th annual tongue-in-cheek ... winner is the Center for American Progress (CAP), for its report, Lessons From State ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... media outlet with a clinician-based audience, will be participating in Rare Disease Day ... in Washington, D.C. In addition, Rare Disease Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... Los ... two episodes of WE TV’s “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” which will begin ... notable, “Mama” June Shannon, known to millions from the 2012 reality television series, “Here ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Lawn, NJ (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 ... ... specializing in thought leadership , media relations, content marketing, social media management, ... With several clients already in the state and in nearby New Hampshire, Massachusetts ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... California (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Sports Development will host a diverse symposium on “Doping in Sport: ... Law and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. The symposium will be held ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Medivir AB (Nasdaq ... a new Board of Directors that will be submitted ... Committee comprises representatives of the company,s three largest shareholders ... who have accepted a seat on the Nomination Committee, ... the 2016-2017 Nomination Committee was as follows:  ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... The latest research Autism Spectrum Disorder Drugs Price Analysis ... the global Autism Spectrum Disorder market. The research answers the ... drugs marketed for Autism Spectrum Disorder and their clinical attributes? How ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 ITL Limited, ( ASX: ITD ), an innovative ... half year ended 31 December 2016 compared with the previous corresponding ... be viewed here . Highlights ... 104%) Earnings per share of 2.2 cents (Dec ... (Dec 2015: $15.7m; up 11%) Profit before tax ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: