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Environmental Assessment


The Issue
Lead is a highly toxic metal known to damage the brain, nerves, kidneys, heart, and other organs. Exposure to lead can also causes seizures, mental retardation, behavioral disorders, memory problems, mood changes, learning disorders and lowered IQ.

EPA Action
Since the 1980's, EPA and its federal partners have phased out lead in gasoline, reduced lead in drinking water and in industrial air pollution, and banned or limited lead used in consumer products such as residential paint. As a result of EPA's regulatory efforts, levels of lead in the air have decreased by 94% between 1980 and 1999. The amount of lead in people's blood has also decreased significantly in recent years: a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported a 78% decrease in the levels of lead in people's blood between 1976 and 1991.

EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment periodically evaluates the latest research concerning the public health and welfare effects of lead and publishes the Air Quality Criteria Document for Lead. This document provides the scientific basis for the establishment of national air quality standards for lead.

The latest version of the Air Quality Criteria Document for Lead was published in October 2006. Air quality criteria documents are vetted through a rigorous peer review process, including review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council and public comment periods.

Related Links

Best Resources

U.S. EPA. Air Quality Criteria for Lead (2006) Final Report. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-05/144aF-bF, 2006.

Additional Resources

U.S. EPA. 2013 Final Report: Integrated Science Assessment for Lead. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/075F, 2013.

Air Quality Criteria Document(s) for Lead. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.

Kedderis, G. L. AND J. Lipscomb. Application of in Vitro Biotransformation Data and Pharmacokinetic Modeling to Risk Assessment. , TOXICOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH. Princeton Scientific Publishers, Princeton, NJ, 17(5-10): 315-321, (2001).

BENNETT, R., D. HOFF, AND M. ETTERSON. Assessment of Methods for Estimating Risk to Birds from Ingestion of Contaminated Grit Particles (Final Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center, Cincinnati, OH, EPA/600/R-11/023, 2011.

Selevan, S., D. Rice, K. Hogan, S. Euling, A. Pfahles-Autchens, AND J. Bethel. Blood Lead Concentration and Delayed Puberty in Girls. , NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE. Massachusetts Medical Society, Waltham, MA, 348:1527-1536, (2003).

Norton, S., S. Cormier, M. Smith, AND R. C. Jones. Can Biological Assessments Discriminate Among Types of Stress? A Case Study from the Eastern Corn Belts Plains Ecoregion. , ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL, 19(4):1113-1119, (2000).

NADADUR, S. S. Comparative Cross Species Genomic Approaches for Identification of Redox Signature Score(s)..

U.S. EPA. Dioxin Exposure Initiative Publications..

U.S. EPA. EPA's Report on the Environment (ROE) (2008 Final Report). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/R-07/045F (NTIS PB2008-112484), 2008.

U.S. EPA. Evaluation of Dioxin in U.S. Cow's Milk. ,.

U.S. EPA. Exposure and Human Health Evaluation of Airborne Pollution from the World Trade Center Disaster..

U.S. EPA. Guidelines for Mutagenicity Risk Assessment..

U.S. EPA. Health and Environmental Effects Profile for Lead Alkyls. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/X-85/285 (NTIS PB88174511), 1985.

LAKIND, J. S., R. L. BRENT, M. L. DOURSON, B. FOOS, S. KACEW, G. KOREN, B. R. SONAWANE, A. J. TARZIAN, AND K. UHL. Human Milk Biomonitoring DatA: Interpretation and Risk Assessment Issues. , Part A., Sam Kacew (ed.), JOURNAL OF TOXICOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. Taylor & Francis, Inc., Philadelphia, PA, 68(20):1713-1769, (2005).

BROWN, R., T. DWYER, C. KASTEN, D. KROTOSKI, M. LINET, J. OLSEN, P. SCHEIDT, D. M. WINN, AND L. ZHU. International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (Journal Article). , INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY. Oxford University Press, Cary, NC, 36(4):724-730, (2007).

MUDIPALLI, A. Lead Hepatotoxicity and Potential Health Effects. , Indian Journal of Medical Research. The Indian Journal of Medical Research, New Delhi, India, 126(6):518-527, (2007).

CHRISTENSEN, K. L. Metals in Blood and Urine, and Thyroid Function Among Adults in the United States 2007-2008. , INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYGIENE AND ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH. Urban & Fischer Verlag Jena, Jena, Germany, 216(6):624-632, (2013).

U.S. EPA. National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 2001.

Holder, J. W. Nitrobenzene Carcinogenicity in Animals and Human Hazard Evaluation. , TOXICOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL HEALTH 15(5):445-457, (1999).

WHITE, L. D., D. CORY-SLECHTA, M. E. GILBERT, E. Tiffany-Castiglioni, N. H. Zawia, M. Virgolini, A. Rossi-George, S. M. Lasley, Y. QIAN, AND R. Basha. New and Evolving Concepts in the Neurotoxicology of Lead. , TOXICOLOGY AND APPLIED PHARMACOLOGY. Academic Press Incorporated, Orlando, FL, 225(1):1-27, (2007).

Norton, S B., S Cormier, M. Smith, R. C. Jones, AND M. SchubauerBerigan. Predicting Levels of Stress from Biological Assessment DatA: Empirical Models from the Eastern Corn Belt Plains. , ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY 21(6):1168-1175, (2002).

U.S. EPA. Priorities for Ecological Protection: An Initial List and Discussion Document for U.S. EPA. 1997.

U.S. EPA. Proceedings of "THE Lead Remediation Effectiveness Symposium". Science of the Total Environment 303(1&2):1-185 , (2003).

U.S. EPA. Provisional Assessment of Recent Studies on Health Effects of Particulate Matter Exposure. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-12/056, 2012.

U.S. EPA. Provisional Assessment of Recent Studies on Particulate Matter (2006). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-06/063, 2006.

U.S. EPA. Relative Congener Scaling of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans to Estimate Building Fire Contributions in Air, Surface Wipes, and Dust Samples. , Joachim D. Pleil and Matthew N. Lorber (ed.), Submitted to: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Indianapolis, IN, 41(21): 7286 -7293, (2007).

Elias, R W. Sources and Pathways of Lead Exposure. Presented at Workshop on Childhood Lead Poisoning, Lima, Peru, May 7-10, 2001.

Wilson, W. Sources of Exposure Error in Particulate Matter Epidemiology and Risk Assessment. Presented at Tenth Conference of the International Society of Exposure Analysis, Monterey, CA, October 24-27,2000.

Wilson, W. The Bimodal Distribution: Development of the Concept of Fine and Coarse Particles as Separate and Distinct Components of Airborne Particulate Matter. Presented at Annual Meeting of the Chinese Assoc. for Aerosol Research, Taiwan, Taipai, October 30-31, 1999.

Cleverly, D., J. Schaum, G. Schweer, J. Becker, AND D. Winters. The Congener Profiles of Anthropogenic Sources of Chlorinated Dibenzo-P-Dioxins and Chlorinated Dibenzofurans in the U.S. Ecoinforma Press, Bayreuth, Germany, 1997.

U.S. EPA. The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields (2011 Final). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-09/138F, 2011.

U.S. EPA. Urban Soil Lead Abatement Demonstration Project: Volume I, U.S. EPA Integrated Report. 1986.

Moya, J. Volatilization Rates from Water to Indoor Air Phase II..
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