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September Lead Headlines

Lead in the News
Public Health
State of NH

News From HUD:  In an effort to immediately help young children with elevated blood lead levels living in federally assisted housing, HUD is proposing to lower the Department’s threshold of lead in the child’s blood to match the one used by the CDC.  HUD’s proposed new reference level for lead in a young child’s blood would be lowered from 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (µg/dL) to five, and continue to be aligned with CDC recommendations in the future. 

Read HUD’s proposed rule. This important change to HUD’s 17-year-old Lead Safe Housing Rule will allow for an earlier response when a child under six years old is exposed to lead-based paint hazards in their HUD-assisted homes.

A great new tool from EDF: Since the 1970s, the federal government has established more than 75 policies targeting childhood lead exposure. Some were major, like phasing lead out of gasoline and paint. Others were minor, like warning labels on hair dyes containing lead acetate.

EDF built this interactive chart to understand and track the relationship between policies and average blood lead levels of pre-school aged children.

EHN Commentary on OSHA standards for adults exposed to lead hazards: In industries with high potential for lead exposure, such as construction, gun ranges, and battery reclaiming/manufacturing, not only are workers at risk, but their families may also be exposed inadvertently through take-home lead dust.

Notes from the CDC on testing blood lead levels for adults in NH: Occupational lead exposure is an important health problem in the United States. Lead exposure causes acute and chronic adverse effects in multiple organ systems ranging from subclinical changes in function to symptomatic life-threatening intoxication. Moreover, evidence indicates that lead exposure at low doses can lead to adverse cardiovascular and kidney effects, cognitive dysfunction, and adverse reproductive outcomes.

From CNBC, Food waste could be used to pull lead, mercury from water: Here is a handy new use for those old coffee grounds: pulling lead out of drinking water.

A group of researchers has designed a foam made from coffee grounds and silicone that can remove lead and mercury from water. Both metals are contaminants considered toxic and harmful to human health.

Lead especially has been the subject of much attention in the wake of the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan, as well as research suggesting many of the public water systems around the country may carry higher levels of lead than has been reported in the past.

The team published its research earlier this week in the journal "ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering."