EarthNews Radio: Human Exposure to Lead
Human exposure to lead is a public health measure for which we have extensive data at our disposal. The Centers for Disease Control sets a level of 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood as cause for concern.
Jerry Kay spoke to Dr. John Osterloh, Chief Medical Officer of the Environmental Health Laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control:
Osterloh says our long-term studies have shown that levels as low as 10 micrograms per deciliter have an affect on a child's neurological development. The report shows that 1.6% of children are above that threshold, whereas in the 1990s the number was more than 4%.
The huge drop in average lead in the blood since the 1970s parallels the reduced use of lead in gasoline since then. It's an example of one of the public health uses of the report: a documentation of a public health intervention.
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