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"We Have Been Lead Poisoning Ourselves For 2000 Years" - Dan Vergano

  • Buzzfeed News
  • New York, NY
  • (July 08, 2017)

People have been getting poisoned by lead in the air for at least two millennia, according to a new study analyzing an ice core extracted form a glacier in the Swiss Alps. In reality, there is no safe blood lead level. This study shows we almost never lived in some idyllic pre-industrial nature where there wasn’t lead pollution. These historical findings matter because public health agencies have been steadily marching the “safe” blood lead levels downward over recent decades, said Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, professor of environmental medicine and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Improved tests have shown lead has negative effects on IQ and health,” he noted, even at levels once considered low. “Since there is no natural level of lead, and we are apparently the ones responsible for what lead there is in the air, that means we should be getting lead levels as close to zero as possible,” Dr. Landrigan added.

- Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, Professor, Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Pediatrics, Dean for Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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