Pennsylvania continues to have one of the highest rates in the nation of people
who have abnormal levels of lead in their blood, according to a paper published
in the July issue of American Economic Journal.
Nearly $10,000 could be saved to society, per person, if lead poisoning could be
eliminated, according to the study.
Lead is a toxic metal that has been used in water piping, gasoline, cosmetics,
and paint. Studies show lead exposure can be extremely harmful to the health
and development of children and dangerous to the health of adults as well.
Lead exposure in young children can lower their IQ, cause behavioral and
physical problems and can lead to an increased chance of incarceration,
numerous studies have shown.
Prevention is the key to avoiding all the harmful effects of lead in kids, according
to Dr. Jeffrey Martin, board chair of the Partnership for Public Health in Lancaster
County, who has been instrumental in highlighting the dangers of lead in the
“As we work toward primary prevention––preventing lead from entering children’s
bodies in the first place––we need to continue intense interventions for those
already poisoned as it appears to make economic sense in the long-term,” said
Researchers suggest that the effects of lead exposure can be minimized through
early intervention such as nutritional advice, medical treatments, and lead
remediation for the home.