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Individuals may be exposed to lead when they inhale lead dust or ingest lead that is on their hands, in their food, in the water supply, or deposited on their clothing. Lead enters the body through the respiratory or digestive system and is released into the blood, allowing it to affect every part of the body, including the reproductive system. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have confirmed that lead exposure negatively impacts fertility rates for both men and women.
When released into the body through digestion or absorption, most lead is deposited into our bones. It is then stored there, where it is released over time resulting in continuous exposure, long after the initial ingestion. According to a lead researcher at Carnegie Mellon, there is definitive causal evidence of the impact of lead exposure on fertility rates. The paper was published recently by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Researchers analyzed data collected by the EPA from 1978-1988 on airborne lead; U.S. Geological Survey data from the 2000’s on lead levels in topsoil; and U.S. Vital Statistics data on fertility rates in the United States. They found that lead in the air and topsoil lowered females general fertility rate between the ages of 15 to 44, and a reduction in airborne lead in the 1980s (thanks to the enactment of the Clean Air Act) lead to a boost in the fertility rates. Higher rates of lead in American topsoil in the 2000s correlated with a decrease in the overall rate of fertility for both men and women.
According to study authors, the issue of lead contamination in our air and topsoil does not get the attention it deserves. Although many people are concerned with lead levels in toys that are made overseas and in paint, specifically in older homes, the threat from these other underreported sources is very real.
Although this is the first long-term study to document the causal connection between higher levels of lead and fertility, the harmful effects of lead on both adults and children is well documented. Some of the symptoms of lead toxicity include:
Many Americans may be unaware that they live in areas with significant levels of lead in the air, topsoil, or water supply. If you have developed adverse health effects as a result of lead exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. To schedule a free consultation, contact the veteran Philadelphia environmental contamination lawyers at Williams Cedar at 215-557-0099 or contact us online today. We will aggressively fight to hold the responsible parties accountable to deter future contamination and obtain the financial compensation that you and your family deserve. From our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.