A New Study Says the Global Toll of Lead Exposure is Even Worse Than We Thought

NPR  by Nicole Estvanik Taylor

International – On the World Health Organization’s list of 10 chemicals of major public health concern, lead is a familiar villain.  Its most widely publicized health impact is neurological damage in children, often measured in the loss of intelligence quotient (IQ) points. But lead’s pernicious effects don’t stop in childhood nor at the brain. According to a new study in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, an estimated 5.455 million adults worldwide died in 2019 from cardiovascular disease (CVD) attributable to lead exposure — a toll more than six times higher than a previous estimate. The study goes on to provide what its authors say are the first monetary estimates of the total global cost of these lead-attributable deaths, along with the magnitude and cost of IQ loss in children under 5 years old. For the full text, click here