LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News Vol 2 no 4 Spring 1994.  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.

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Lead Industry Accusations Don't Hold Water

by The Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning

Summary of US Department of Health and Human Services Review of Needleman Study: Final Report by the Office of Research Integrity

Central ORI Finding: No Scientific Misconduct

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Research Integrity (ORI) recently concluded its review of charges brought by scientists with connections to the lead industry against Herbert L. Needleman, M.D., a leading researcher. ORI found no scientific misconduct in Needleman's research, concurring with the University of Pittsburgh Hearing Board, which conducted the first phase of the investigation.

Other ORI Recommendations

ORI criticised a few methodological and reporting issues and requested Needleman to submit corrections and clarifications to the appropriate scientific journals.

Hazards of lead Poisoning Confirmed

Scientific Research Justifies Stronger Prevention Policies

There is no dispute with Dr. Needleman's conclusion that lead poisoning poses a grave danger to children. Since Needleman's 1979 study was completed, more than a dozen researchers from the U.S. and around the world have documented lead's adverse effects at lower and lower levels. Indeed, a National Academy of Sciences report issued last October concluded that:

"The weight of evidence gathered during the 1980s clearly supports the conclusion that central and peripheral nervous systems of both children and adults are demonstrably affected by lead at exposures formerly thought to be well within the safe range. In children, blood lead concentrations around 10 g/dL are associated with disturbances in early physical and mental growth and in later intellectual functioning and academic achievement." (National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Research Council, "Measuring Lead Exposure in Infants, Children, and Other Sensitive Populations", 1993, p. 93)

In fact, the steadily accumulating action to protect our children from lead poisoning is more urgent than ever. The scientific debate over lead's toxicity is over, and it is pointless and distracting to delay action further. It's time to devote our energies to protecting children. Every law maker who cares about children's health and development should support measures to regulate inappropriate uses of lead, routinely screen young children's blood lead levels, and increase resources to abate serious lead hazards

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