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Hence gout and stone afflict the human race; Hence lazy jaundice with her saffron face; Palsy, with shaking head and tott'ring knees. And bloated dropsy,

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Presentation on theme: "Hence gout and stone afflict the human race; Hence lazy jaundice with her saffron face; Palsy, with shaking head and tott'ring knees. And bloated dropsy,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Hence gout and stone afflict the human race; Hence lazy jaundice with her saffron face; Palsy, with shaking head and tott'ring knees. And bloated dropsy, the staunch sot's disease; Consumption, pale, with keen but hollow eye, And sharpened feature, shew'd that death was nigh. The feeble offspring curse their crazy sires, And, tainted from his birth, the youth expires. (Description of lead poisoning by an anonymous Roman hermit, translated by Humelbergius Secundus, 1829)

3 More About Lead (in Washington) Mark Crippen and Cristina Haworth Winter 2010

4 Background

5 An Abbreviated Timeline of Lead 6500 BCE Lead discovered in Turkey 500-300 BCE Roman smelting of lead, use in plumbing and paints 100 BCE First description of lead poisoning by ancient Greeks 1887 Lead poisoning diagnosed in the U.S. 1920’s U.S. government recommends use of lead paint in residences 1921 GM Engineers put tetraethyl lead into gasoline 1943 Lead is determined to cause neurological, developmental, and behavioral problems in children 1971 Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act passed 1978 Lead-based paint is banned in the U.S.

6 Lead Use  Paint  Increases durability- less cracking/chipping, less permeable  Gasoline  Reduces engine knock  Improves engine performance  Ethnic remedies  Predominantly for treating upset stomach  Lead pipes  Water and sewage  Also found in solder, industrial processes, toys

7 Stakeholders  Citizens/residents  Disadvantaged areas esp.  Communities near smelters/industrial processors  Non-profit organizations  Alliance for Healthy Homes  National Lead Information Center  Washington Toxics Coalition  The Trumpeter Swan Society  Government agencies  Center for Disease Control  Environmental Protection Agency  Food and Drug Administration  Department of Public Health  Department of Housing and Development  Occupational Safety and Health Administration  WA State Department of Ecology

8 Hazard Identification

9 At-Risk Population  Children (esp. under 6 years of age)  Hand-to-mouth behavior  Play area  Rapid breathing rate  Poor  Families pushed into older, cheaper housing  Racial-ethnic minority  Pushed into marginalized communities  Recent immigrants  May be unable to understand lead hazard warnings  Occupationally exposed parents

10 Case Study: Lead Lawsuit Baron and Budd, P.C.  Client- family of a 5-year- old boy diagnosed with lead poisoning  Low-income housing area in Iowa  Housing unit contained lead-based paint  Child ingested paint chips  Lead poisoning resulted in neurological damage  Child was severely developmentally delayed  Unable to talk at age 5

11 Case Study: Lead Lawsuit  Suit brought against the family's landlord  Landlord knew apartment contained lead-based paint before the family moved in  Landlord had been previously cited for violations of lead- based paint regulations  Landlord failed to remove the paint, failed to warn the parents of the lead-poisoned child  Confidential settlement reached between Baron & Budd and landlord  Trust fund set up for the child

12 Case Study: Asarco Asarco Company: Copper smelting in Tacoma Air pollution settled over more than 1000 square miles in the Puget Sound basin Lead, arsenic, and other heavy metals still contaminate the soil 1940’s-era photo of the Asarco smokestack seen from the Port of Tacoma. Photo courtesy of

13 Case Study: Asarco  1999- Department of Ecology and local health departments in King, Pierce, Kitsap, and Thurston counties conduct study to:  Determine the extent of soil pollution  Test the soils where children play  Provide education and outreach to affected communities  Document this process and action plans (Tacoma Smelter Plume Management Plan)

14 Case Study: Asarco  As of 2006, over 300 child-use facilities within the contaminated area have been tested in King and Pierce Counties  Above state standards:  10% percent in mainland King County  30% on Vashon/Maury Island  30% percent in Pierce County  In 2005, the Legislature passed a law (RCW 70.140) to keep children safe from polluted soil

15 A Few Interesting Facts  Renal disease and gout  Most lead inhaled in lower respiratory tract is absorbed  Absorbed lead is split between  Blood  Mineralizing tissues (bones, teeth)  Soft tissues  Half-life: 28-36 days  U.S. is the last country to have removed lead from paint  Adults: decreased libido and impotence

16 Risk Assessment Question

17 Guiding Questions  What is the risk to children of lead poisoning from house dust, paint chips, and residential soil in Washington State? Are the current regulatory standards for soil lead concentrations sufficient? Longbone radiographs of hands. “Lead lines” in five year old male with radiological growth retardation and blood lead level of 37.7 μ g/dL. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Celsa López, Clinical Epidemiologic Research Unit, IMSS, Torreón, México)

18 Current Regulations  EPA: Blood lead action level: 10 µg/dL  EPA: Air lead level: 0.15 µg/m³  WA DoE- Residential soil: 250 ppm  EPA- Parks/playground soil: 400 ppm  EPA- Non-play area soil: 1200 ppm

19 Exposure Assessment

20 Routes of Exposure  Inhalation  Airborne house dust  Airborne residential soil  Occupational exposure  Ingestion  Lead paint chips  Hand-to-mouth behavior  Paint on toys (ended 1920’s)  House dust/residential soil on hands  Contaminated food or water  Lead pipes, solder  Lead-glazed pottery

21 Soil  Washington Toxics Coalition:  Average soil lead level for older buildings in Seattle: 1000-6000 ppm  These levels will increase with time as lead is removed from the buildings by weathering and maintenance  Exterior lead is tracked into buildings and contributes to interior lead dust levels

22 Paint History  Three facts:  Master painters demanded lead-based paints because it was washable and durable  Federal and state governments recommended and often specified its use in the early 1900’s  No U.S. public health official or government advocated restricting the use of lead in house paint until 1940’s  Washington Toxics Coalition:  1.5 million homes built before 1978 ban on lead-based paint  80% estimated to contain lead-based paint  The average lead level of interior carpet was  10,700 µg/m² when outside shoes were worn inside  35,100 µg/m² in a remodeled home

23 Paint Cleanup  EPA-recommended processes for cleanup of lead-contaminated construction sites:  Inform residents  Create safe work environment: signage and personal protective equipment  Remove furniture  Cover floor and any areas that are not to be worked on  Close and seal vents, turn of HVAC  Minimize dust  Clean construction site daily  Ensure workers are clean before leaving construction site  Thoroughly vacuum and dust the site, use general-purpose cleaner over entire site

24 Equation Set Up  Uncertainty factor: 125 Uncertainty Factors Interspecies variability 10 5 Human variability10 Human to child10 5 Database uncertainty 10 5 Subchronic to chronic 10 I = C· CR· EFD BW· AT I = C· CR· EFD = C· CR BW· AT BW C = I· BW CR

25 Risk Characteristics

26 Calculation C = I· BW =.38 mg 18.5 kg day CR kg· day 0.200 kg C = 35 mg lead = 35 ppm kg I = 47/125 =.38 mg/kg/day CR =0.200 kg/day BW =18.5 kg C =?  EPA: 200mg/day  NOAEL: 47mg/kg/day  EPA Soil Screening Level Case Study  No reference dose  Unsafe at any level

27 Conclusions Realities  Conclusion: 35 ppm is the maximum level for soil lead concentrations in order to prevent most health problems in children.  The reality is  Lead is a persistent contaminant which is highly unregulated and can cause irreversible damage.  Current regulations are insufficient to protect children, adults, and the environment.  35 ppm is an unrealistic goal, given the cost and extent of pollution.  Recommendations:  Increase random soil sampling around homes and communities, especially in urban areas.  Set the threshold for action at 150 ppm in residential soil. This is a more reasonable number, which takes cost, political opposition, and human health into consideration.

28 Risk Management and Communication

29 CDC’s National Surveillance Data: U.S. & Washington State Statistics

30 Washington’s Progress  Washington State childhood blood lead registry  Children age 0 until their 16th birthday  Includes data as of October 20, 2008  Data don’t necessarily represent all children in the state  A very small percent of children in Washington have blood lead tests

31 Testing Methods Home lead water test kit. Home lead soil test kit.

32 Contractor Certification  “Beginning April 2010 contractors performing work that disturbs lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must:  Be EPA certified, and  Follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. ”  “Lead-Safe Practices”  Contain the work area  Minimize dust  Clean up thoroughly  Wisconsin, Iowa, and North Carolina enforce a Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting program  Allows greater local regulation

33 Lead in the Media  “Strong link between crime, lead exposure in children”  “…even relatively low levels of lead permanently damage the brain and are linked to higher numbers of arrests, particularly for violent crime.”  “…55 percent of the subjects …had been arrested, and that the average was five arrests between the ages of 18 and 24.”  “For those with average lead level in the study, their brains were about 1.2 percent smaller. The most affected regions of the brain were those regulating decision making, impulse control and attention…”

34 Recommendations for Communication  Create multi-lingual pamphlets to cater to the needs of minorities and recent immigrants  Spread awareness at community meetings, especially in poorer or otherwise disadvantaged areas.  Write legislators, senators, and representatives to push lead cleanup to the forefront of environmental policy.

35 Precautionary Assessment Community/Social parameter ScoreComment Goal3/3Does not aid movement toward healthy bodies, ecosystems Need3/3An unnecessary additive to a variety of processes and products Future generations3/3High impact on future generations Democratic, community- based process 3/3Community not consulted Alternatives3/3Alternatives not considered Total15/15Highly unsupportive to health and community

36 Precautionary Assessment Exposure parametersScoreComment Exposure3/3Many disadvantaged areas have high exposure rates Multiple exposures3/3If a child is exposed to lead once, they are often exposed many times Children exposed5/5Children are the at-risk group for exposure Consumer products2/3Lead is found in consumer products, including toys and computers Occupational exposure2/3Lead is found in industrial processes Food exposure2/3Lead found in water supply Total17/20Significant exposure risk

37 Precautionary Assessment Hazard/Toxicity parameters ScoreComment Hazard10/10Neurotoxin, developmental, behavioral problems Individual sensitivity3/3Children are sensitive Ecological hazard3/3Many species susceptible to lead poisoning Volume5/5Lead consumption is critically high Persistent3/3Highly persistent Bioaccumulates3/3Accumulates in bones, blood Uncertainty1/3Very certain Total28/30Very hazardous. Chemical of serious concern

38 Comparison S. Gilbert’s Precautionary Assessment Community/Social12/15 Exposure16/20 Hazard/Toxicity27/30 Our Precautionary Assessment Community/Social15/15 Exposure17/20 Hazard/Toxicity28/30

39 References  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency   Washington State Department of Ecology   U.S. Office of Housing and Development   Understanding Lead Paint Litigation   Center for Disease Control and Prevention   Toxipedia 

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