Approximately 500,000 children in the United States between the ages of one and five suffer from lead poisoning as a result of lead in their blood above the level for which public health action is recommended.
No safe blood lead level in children has been identified and lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. This results in short and long term adverse consequences in the exposed children and to society in general.
The level of lead in the blood of children is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious. Our guest is Dr. Martha E. Richmond, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of Environmental Science, at Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts.
Dr. Richmond’s work has centered on lead poisoning in children and involves assessment of environmental regulation to effectively protect public health, including the effectiveness of regulations for air pollutants, and protection of children against lead toxicity.
When Dr. Richmond visited with me by phone from her home near Boston, Massachusetts, on October 19, 2014, she began with a description of the issues surrounding lead poisoning.
The book Dr. Martha Richmond recommends is Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America’s Children, by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner.
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