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MEDIA RELEASE 19th May 2000

New Research On The Health Effects Of Lead Exposure:
Millions More Children May Suffer From Lead Exposure
Lead Exposure Linked To Alzheimer’s Disease

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"Studies from the United States have highlighted the need to address lead in our environment more seriously as an issue not only for children but adults as well" said Joanne Dodd of the LEAD Group. "This research has shown links between lead exposure and juvenile delinquency and occupational exposure of adults and the development of Alzheimer’s Disease."

"Prevention of lead exposure is therefore not solely an issue for children under five" explained Ms Dodd. "Adult exposure is still very important in terms of the risks of developing Alzheimer’s and the implications this has for the families involved and the healthcare services needed for sufferers."

"Lead poisoning is unfortunately thought of as a historical problem by many people, however, this research has again highlighted that it is still very much a current issue in our society", added Ms Dodd.

Millions More Children May Suffer From Lead Exposure

New research suggests that millions more children than previously thought might have lead-linked impairment. Dr Bruce Lanphear, of the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, at a joint Conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Pediatric Academic Society, presented his findings of cognitive impairment, especially affecting reading ability, in children with blood lead levels as low as 2.5 microgram per decilitre (a quarter of Australia’s 10 microgram per decilitre ‘level of concern’),

Another study found a strong link between high blood lead levels and juvenile delinquency.

Dr. Lanphear concluded that the recommended limit "is inadequate to protect children" and proposed a maximum threshold of at least half of the 10 microgram limit".

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Lead exposure linked to Alzheimer’s disease

San Diego American Academy of Neurology’s new research found that people who have worked in jobs with high levels of lead are 3.4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Workers who cast or smelt lead, who do welding, sandblasting or removal of old paint, or who work with lead products, such batteries, ammunition pottery or ink are most at risk.

Lead exposure remains a major public concern because of its adverse effects on brain development and health in general, even with low exposure levels," said Elisabeth Koss of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

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For further information contact: Joanne Dodd , The LEAD Group Inc., on 9716 0014 or 1800 626 086  ###

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Last Updated 26 March 2012
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