Lead exposure may be more deadly than previously thought

"Our study estimates the impact of historical lead exposure on adults currently aged 44 years old or over in the USA, whose exposure to lead occurred in the years before the study began," said study lead author Dr. Bruce Lanphear.

"Today, lead exposure is much lower because of regulations banning the use of lead in petrol, paints and other consumer products so the number of deaths from lead exposure will be lower in younger generations," Lanphear said. "Our study calls into question the assumption that specific toxicants, like lead, have 'safe levels,'" Lanphear said.

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