According to a new research it is observed that susceptibility to lead is still a public health concern regardless of falling levels of lead in blood over the past two decades. Previous studies have determined lead exposure to be a risk factor and potential cause for cancer, kidney disease, cardiovascular problems, and fertility problems. However, there have only been a small number of studies to investigate the connection of lead exposure to mortality in the general population.
Researchers assessed the link by examining follow-up data from participants of the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The participants were ages
32 to 75 and were tested for blood lead levels through 1993.
When compared to participants with blood lead levels of less than 10 g/dL, researchers found participants with blood lead levels of 20 to 29 g/dL were at a 46-percent increased risk for "all-cause" death. These participants were also at a 40-percent increased risk for death due to circulatory problems, and at a 65 percent-increased risk for death from a form of cancer.
Researchers conclude, "Individuals with blood lead levels of 20 to 29 g/dL in 1975 to 1980 experienced significantly increased all-cause, circulatory, and cardiovascular mortality from 1976 through 1992. Thus, we strongly encourage efforts to reduce lead exposure for occupationally exposed workers and the 1.7 million Americans with blood lead levels of at least 20 g/dL."