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:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... Young Asset Protection, a full service ... the latest charity campaign in their community enrichment program. Art Expression utilizes after-school ... cause are currently being accepted at: http://artexpressioninc.org/ . , Art Expression is ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... J Thomas ... by continuing it’s commitment to act as Agents of Change in the community, ... with area homeless families to fulfill immediate needs and help them move into ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... sort through a world of exterior design possibilities. CertainTeed, North America’s leading brand ... tools by expanding the product offerings showcased in the mobile version of the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The Central Coast Autism Spectrum Center (CCASC) invites teens ages 11-18 ... night of fun for teens with and without special needs to gather in a safe ... the event. The dance will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 7 to 9:30 ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Film Studios. The new cartoon style themes are great for showcasing pictures, videos as ... customized scene generators, titles like introductions, lower thirds, transitions and a beautiful frame overlay. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Innophos Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: IPHS ), ... today announced that it will host a live conference call ... discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2015 results. ... release detailing fourth quarter and full year results will be ... --> --> The conference ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... -- SI-BONE, Inc., a medical device company that pioneered the use of ... (MIS) device indicated for fusion for certain disorders of the sacroiliac ... Administrative Contractor (MAC) covering the states of Connecticut ... Massachusetts , Minnesota , ... Rhode Island , Vermont ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016 On Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, surgeons ... David,s North Austin Medical Center successfully completed the first ... ® Surgical System with Trumpf Medical,s advanced operating ... Lakshman , M.D., colorectal surgeon at the Texas Institute ... Table Motion technology, which seamlessly combines the da Vinci ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: