Lead is far more deadly than we thought, a new study says. In fact lead may be responsible for up to 10 times more deaths in the United States than previously thought, according to a study published Monday in the journal The Lancet Public Health.
As U.S. New and World Report noted, researchers concluded about 400,000 deaths per year may be attributed to lead, which is a far higher number than previously reported by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. They examined 14,289 adults over 20 years and found those with a blood lead concentration at the 90th percentile (6.7 micrograms per deciliter) had a 37 percent increase in mortality.
If that’s not scary enough, deaths linked to lead exposure may include 256,000 annual deaths from cardiovascular disease. As U.S. New and World Report cited, the researchers found that individuals with a blood lead concentration at the 90th percentile had a 70 percent increase in death by cardiovascular disease compared to those with a blood lead concentration at the 10th percentile. This alarming finding suggests that lead exposure could be a long overlooked contributing factor to heart disease.
In this Friday, March 25, 2016 photo, Angela Stoica, center, supervisor of Inorganic Chemistry, works with drinking water samples at Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories, in Fairfield, N.J. Responding to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, school officials across the country are testing for lead in the water flowing from classroom sinks and cafeteria faucets to reassure anxious parents or take action if they are surprised by the results.
Feeling anxious about your lead exposure now? You’re not alone.
This latest research highlights the danger lead poses not only to children, which have been long known, but also to adults, according to Bruce Lanphear, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and the study’s lead author.
“There’s no apparent threshold or safe level [of lead] for deaths from heart disease,” he says, as Consumer Reports noted.
Indeed, the researchers also concluded that the estimated number of deaths attributable to lead were comparable to the number of deaths from tobacco smoke.
For the record, people are exposed to lead through paint, household dust, food, cigarette smoke and some industrial jobs. Lead exposure also occurs through water, such as in Flint, Michigan where thousands of residents were exposed to lead through contaminated water.
Here in the Bay Area, after several Oakland schools were …
Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle