A new study published last Month [Low-level lead exposure and mortality in US adults: a population-based cohort study. [Primary author: Prof Bruce P Lanphear] Demonstrated that lead is much more toxic than previously thought.
“Lanphear and colleagues noted strong correlations between initial amounts of lead in blood and subsequent mortality in this population. Comparing mortality in the tenth percentile (level of lead in blood 1·0 μg/dL) with that in the 90th percentile (6·7 μg/dL), they found a 37% increase in all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1·37, 95% CI 1·17–1·60), a 70% increase in cardiovascular disease mortality (1·70, 1·30–2·22), and a more than doubling of mortality from ischaemic heart disease (2·08, 1·52–2·85). A similar pattern of increased risk was seen when the analysis was restricted to people with blood lead levels below 5 μg/dL. Furthermore, the authors estimated that the fraction of all-cause mortality in the USA attributable to lead is 18%, accounting for 412 000 deaths per year.”