Lead Poisoning News
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February 18, 2005
A U.S. researcher is arguing that the lead left in paint, water, soil and other sources may be having a greater impact on people's behavior than realized. Elevated lead levels are known to affect children's intelligence, but it might also be leading to antisocial and criminal behavior, according to Dr. Herbert Needleman.
The professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine said the U.S. government needs to do more to reduce lead levels in the environment. Read More...
December 6, 2004
A new scientific report released in today's Journal of the American Medical Association suggests older men that have high lead concentrations in their bodies have a much higher risk of developing cataracts. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness.
The first large study to show the adverse effects lead exposure can have in the formation of cataracts, the findings suggest there might be ways to reduce the risk of cataracts. Read More....
A new study on young rats exposed to low levels of lead may show one more reason why preventing lead exposure early in life is so important. According to a professor of pathology, anatomy and cell biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, even low levels of lead exposure can have serious effects on the structure and function of developing nervous system and cause attention, memory, learning, emotional and other behavioral problems that last into adulthood. Read More....
July 20, 2004
While the majority of lead poisoning is suffered at the workplace, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that dangerous lead exposure can also come from some very unlikely sources. Things like tableware and traditional Indian medicines, as well as other unsuspecting sources have been cause for concern. The agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report journal outlined two unusual cases of lead exposure. Read More....
WASHINGTON, DC—The Food and Drug Administration issued a national warning on Thursday about a powder known as Litargirio, which is considered a traditional remedy in the Dominican Republic and is imported to specialty stores here. The yellow or peach colored powder contains dangerous levels of lead and should not be used, claim authorities.
The warning came after the FDA discovered that several children in Rhode Island who were undergoing treatment for lead poisoning had used Litargirio as a deodorant. While the product has no proven health benefits, it is traditionally used as a deodorant and a remedy for foot fungus, burns, and wounds.
The lead contained in the product causes brain damage, and the blood levels of lead in the exposed children had climbed to as high as four times the amount known to cause cognitive problems. Their blood levels continued to climb even after their initial treatment, and did not decline until the children quit using Litargirio.
The FDA advises the public to immediately discontinue any use of Litargirio, thoroughly wash any body parts or surface that came into contact with the powder, and ask a health worker to test children and pregnant/nursing women who have used Litargirio.
WASHINGTON, DC— Lead poisoning is 100 percent preventable, through the removal of lead-based paint and other home restoration, but continues to affect many children, especially minorities living in poverty. Childhood lead poisoning affects more than 20% of African American children living in older homes. Approximately 85% of children whose blood tested positive for high levels of lead are Medicaid eligible, living in or near poverty.
Many cities have taken an aggressive position in combating lead poisoning, providing lead hazard education, remediation, screening, and enforcement. The result is that the overall incidence of lead poisoning has decreased significantly in the past ten years, from almost one million to an estimated 300,000 cases this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Cities such as Boston and Baltimore have made lead poisoning a top
priority, providing a model of progress for other cities. Congress now
determines the amount of funding that will be provided to cities to
address lead hazards.
Lead Poisoning Breaking Story from the ATSDR!
January 29, 2002
has had more luck with lead cleanup than other areas. Missouri's Old
Lead Belt has been on this list for a decade and they have yet to see
relocation for their residents. The cleanup has been a long and slow
process, much slower than Herculaneum's lead cleanup. The area in the
Old Lead Belt has 25,000 residents and is about 10 times the population
of Herculaneum but may have been overlooked because the EPA bypassed
Sueperfund's complex national priority list. Officials claim that Superfund
is a slow-moving process that takes time. Herculaneum has received a
lot of press attention that may be the reason their clean up has progressed
so much faster than other areas, but according to a Herculaneum Alderman,
the EPA has not guaranteed the cleanup will work out.
While Herculaneum has received a lot of attention for their high levels of lead, other poor, urban areas have yet to receive protection from the lead poisoning afflicted on the children. The EPA claims they are unable to help these children that must live in old, run down conditions full of lead based paint chips and flakes.
January 24, 2002
January 20, 2002
The EPA announced a plan to relocate the households with young children, pregnant women, and other people sensitive to lead while their homes and yards are cleaned for lead contamination. Herculaneum is the home of the country's largest smelter. Data from Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services show that 24% of the children tested had blood lead levels greater than the federal lead poisoning level. Of the 200 children that are 6 years or younger that live in Herculaneum, about 80 were tested.
Herculaneum residents remain skeptical of the planned lead clean up because they will have to return to the exact same environment and the smelter is still up and running.
January 9, 2002
Herculaneum, Missouri found that about one in four children that were
tested by the state suffer from lead poisoning. These results are based
on preliminary data, but House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt asked
that Herculaneum be placed on the Environmental Protection Agency's
national priority list for cleanup funds. The city of Herculaneum is
the home of the largest lead smelter in the nation. In a door-to-door
survey by the state's health department, they found 15 of 62 children,
age 6 or younger, met the criteria for the federal government's definition
of lead poisoning. Twenty three percent of children tested in St. Louis
have lead poisoning according to state figures. The toxic metal lead
affects the development of children and fetuses.