|LEAD Action News Volume
13 Number 2, April 2013, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editorial Team: Elizabeth O’Brien, Zac Gethin-Damon, Hitesh Lohani and Shristi Lohani
At the end of 2011 we published the UN estimate that the global benefits from the phaseout of leaded petrol / gasoline amounted to US$2.45 trillion/year in improved health / fewer early deaths from lead poisoning, increased IQ in children (and therefore lifetime earnings) and decreased violent crime. In other words, the use of leaded petrol has cost the world an estimated 4.27% of GDP annually, and continues to disbenefit millions of people in the 6 or 7 countries where it is still sold.
Graphic copyright of Journal of Environmental Health, December 2011, (Volume 74, Number 5, pp. 8-14), a publication of the National Environmental Health Association, US. Reprinted with permission. Global Benefits From the Phaseout of Leaded Fuel by Peter L. Tsai, MBA and Thomas H. Hatfield, DrPH, REHS. Available at http://www.unep.org/transport/pcfv/PDF/Hatfield_Global_Benefits_Unleaded.pdf
At the beginning of 2013 Kevin Drum wrote a stunning and historically important article linking leaded petrol to violent crime in the US, which inspired the question in our newsletter’s subtitle: Was the lead additive in petrol / gasoline, the worst criminal of the 20th century?
Kevin Drum wrote: “Gasoline lead may explain as much as 90 percent of the rise and fall of violent crime over the past half century” and the cost benefit of lead abatement? Invest US$20bn annually in lead abatement and the return is US$210bn annually [in the USA].
The Drum article also is the basis of the first two articles reprinted in this newsletter, by Kevin Drum and George Monbiot, as well as Elizabeth O’Brien’s comments on George Monbiot’s articles in The Guardian and in the Sydney Morning Herald (“Australia’s part in the rise and fall in violent crime globally: questions arising”).
And for those of you with an interest in lead that is closer to home, we have a new video link, and have continued the process of publishing our Info Packs, with this edition of the newsletter including info on lead poisoning in pets and poultry, as well as info for shooters.
After we finalise the end of leaded petrol globally, and while we continue to assist other countries to ban the addition of lead to all paints and inks (as happened in Australia in 2010, with the exception of artists materials), it has become clear that the next thing we should call on the world to do is eliminate lead primers in ammunition. Keep an eye on that prize in future editions of LEAD Action News.
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Updated 10 May 2013
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