New Study Links Lead Exposure to Heart Disease Deaths

The research suggests that even low-level exposure may be a significant risk factor for heart disease

By Catherine Roberts
March 12, 2018

Lead exposure may contribute to more than 400,000 deaths of adults each year in the U.S., according to an estimate published today in the journal Lancet Public Health.

That number includes 256,000 annual deaths from cardiovascular disease, suggesting that lead exposure may be a significant, overlooked risk factor for this leading cause of death. The estimate was extrapolated from a nationally representative sample of 14,289 adults, whose blood had been tested for lead sometime between 1988 and 1994.

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What is lead, and why is it bad?

Lead is a naturally occurring element in our environment. Its past and current use in several products mean we can be exposed to it from several sources. Lead is particularly dangerous for children under 6 years old. 

The Enquirer Published January 10, 2018

Given that lead is a metal whose health effects have been known for centuries, why does it still pose a health problem? Short answer: Humans once used a lot of it and it’s hard to get rid of. Here are answers to six questions about lead.

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Are you at risk from lead poisoning at an indoor shooting range?

If an indoor firing range does not have proper air ventilation, then shooters, range employees and visitors are exposed to lead dust

Indoor shooting ranges may put police officers, hobby shooters and employees at risk from lead exposure, particularly if proper dust-control measures are not in place.

“We are seeing an increase in firing range-related lead poisoning in adults, which can result from faulty ventilation systems or just inadequate cleanup of lead dust,” says Diane Calello, New Jersey Poison Control Center Executive and Medical Director at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. “Exposure can happen from inhaling the lead dust emitted when the firearm is discharged or from ingestion of lead from contaminated hands or food.”

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Lead Exposure at Shooting Ranges Poses a ‘Significant and Unmanaged’ Public Health Risk, Study Finds

May 10, 2017

The all-American pastime of squeezing off a few rounds at the range is riskier than many realize. A new analysis of 40 years of research demonstrates that gun range customers and staffers are at high risk of exposure to dangerous amounts of lead, from inhaling smoke and tiny bits of bullets that float through the air after crashing into targets.

The meta analysis of 36 studies conducted between 1975 and 2016, published in the journal Environmental Health examined the ways firing range patrons, employees, and their families are exposed to lead.  It found that individuals who patronize or work at gun ranges had blood lead levels from between two and eight times the level of exposure deemed cause for serious concern by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The review’s authors concluded that “firing ranges, regardless of type and user classification, currently constitute a significant and unmanaged public health problem.”

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otect Your Kids From the Long-Lasting Effects of Childhood Lead Poisoning


New research suggests early exposure has an impact on adult IQ

By Lindsey Konkel
March 29, 2017

With millions of American children still at risk for lead poisoning, a new study suggests that the harmful effects could last well into adulthood.

Research over the past 40 years has linked lead poisoning to developmental delays, cognitive problems, and behavior issues during childhood and the teen years. But the new study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to link early lead exposure to problems later in life.

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Loaded with Lead – A Seattle Times Investigation

 

Lead poisoning is a major threat at America’s shooting ranges, perpetuated by owners who’ve repeatedly violated laws even after workers have fallen painfully ill.

By Christine Willmsen, Lewis Kamb and Justin Mayo

October 17, 2014

A confused 38-year-old father in Kentucky rarely crawled out of bed. A conservation volunteer in Iowa lost feeling in his hands and feet. A 5-year-old girl in South King County doubled over in pain and vomited. The cause of their suffering: lead poisoning. The source: dirty gun ranges.

Indoor and outdoor, public and private, gun ranges dot the national landscape like bullet holes riddling a paper target, as the popularity of shooting has rocketed to new heights with an estimated 40 million recreational shooters annually.

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