Environmental toxicology expert witness Richard Troast, PhD, Troast Environmental Consulting, explains lead toxicity and environmental exposures:
Environmental lead (Pb) and its toxic effects on adults and children have long been recognized. The US EPA has had a continuing goal to minimize exposures to lead to populations threatened by exposures to lead in the air, soil and paint. Lead exposures have been linked to neurological effects including IQ decrement in children and to systemic and reproductive toxicity in adults. Data continues to demonstrate that children are the most sensitive to the effects of lead and this sensitivity forms the basis of the EPA Superfund approach to remedial of cleanup environmental soil lead to levels that would insure a maximum blood lead concentration of 10ug/dl. Adult lead exposures, within the control of Superfund, are cleaned below the levels expected to affect adults by cleaning to the levels not expected to present health risks to children. The EPA has used two models to predict blood leads during its remedial efforts and has used blood lead as the biomarker of exposure. The children’s model is the Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic Model (IEUBK) and the adult exposures were calculated using the Adult Lead Model (ALM). Both of these were published by EPA after significant peer review.