HPA Launches study on lead poisoning in children
The Health Protection Agency is carrying out a new project investigating how common lead poisoning is among children and what the causes are.
Lead poisoning in children is associated with a range of effects, including reduction in IQ and disruptive behaviour.
Changes in the law, such as the European requirement for all new cars to run on unleaded petrol from 1990, have removed many sources of lead from the environment, which has led to a decrease in levels of lead of blood in the population, but it is known that that a small number of children are being exposed to harmful levels of lead.
Data gathered will enable the HPA to estimate the incidence of lead poisoning in children in the UK and Republic of Ireland, describe the sources of environmental exposure and identify the sections of society most at risk.
The project also aims to provide support in managing children with elevated blood lead concentrations, and will include the involvement of clinical toxicologists and public and environmental health professionals, who will work to prevent further exposure.