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It’s Time to End Lead Poisoning in the United States

It’s Time to End Lead Poisoning in the United States Opinion EDITORIAL Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc; David Bellinger, PhD, MSc The United States has made extraordinary progress during gasoline beginning in 1975. Bans on lead in new interior paint, the past 50 years in reducing children’s exposure to lead. In the solder, and plumbing supplies followed in succeeding years. early 1970s, lead was ubiquitous in the US environment. It was The removal of lead from gasoline and new paint pro- duced a precipitous decrease in blood lead levels from a popu- marketed aggressively by the lead industry (Figure 1) and was used in paint, water pipes, lation mean of 17 μg/dL (all ages) in 1976 to 4 μg/dL in the early and plumbing fixtures. More 1990s to less than 2 μg/dL today (Figure 2). The incidence of Related article than 100 000 tons of tetra- acute, symptomatic lead poisoning decreased markedly. At the ethyl lead were added each year to gasoline to improve automo- same time, steady increases in the knowledge of lead’s toxic tive engine performance, and lead contamination of air, soil, and effects at lower and lower levels caused the CDC to repeat- dust in urban centers and along highways was extensive. edly lower its blood http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA Pediatrics American Medical Association

It’s Time to End Lead Poisoning in the United States

JAMA Pediatrics , Volume 175 (12) – Dec 27, 2021

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright 2021 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
2168-6203
eISSN
2168-6211
DOI
10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.3525
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Opinion EDITORIAL Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc; David Bellinger, PhD, MSc The United States has made extraordinary progress during gasoline beginning in 1975. Bans on lead in new interior paint, the past 50 years in reducing children’s exposure to lead. In the solder, and plumbing supplies followed in succeeding years. early 1970s, lead was ubiquitous in the US environment. It was The removal of lead from gasoline and new paint pro- duced a precipitous decrease in blood lead levels from a popu- marketed aggressively by the lead industry (Figure 1) and was used in paint, water pipes, lation mean of 17 μg/dL (all ages) in 1976 to 4 μg/dL in the early and plumbing fixtures. More 1990s to less than 2 μg/dL today (Figure 2). The incidence of Related article than 100 000 tons of tetra- acute, symptomatic lead poisoning decreased markedly. At the ethyl lead were added each year to gasoline to improve automo- same time, steady increases in the knowledge of lead’s toxic tive engine performance, and lead contamination of air, soil, and effects at lower and lower levels caused the CDC to repeat- dust in urban centers and along highways was extensive. edly lower its blood

Journal

JAMA PediatricsAmerican Medical Association

Published: Dec 27, 2021

References