Limits...
A personal perspective on the initial federal health-based regulation to remove lead from gasoline.

Bridbord K, Hanson D - Environ. Health Perspect. (2009)

Bottom Line: Removal of lead from gasoline in the United States has been described as one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century, but it almost did not happen.The initial U.S. EPA health-based regulation to remove lead from gasoline is clearly an example where science successfully affected public policy.The leadership of the U.S. EPA at that time deserves much credit for establishing an atmosphere in which this was possible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of International Training and Research, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2220, USA. ken_bridbord@nih.gov

ABSTRACT

Objective: This article describes the personal experience and perspective of the authors, who had primary responsibility for drafting the initial health-based regulation limiting lead content of gasoline during the early 1970s while employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Data source: Information used by the U.S. EPA in developing the initial health-based regulation limiting lead content of gasoline in December 1973 and studies documenting the impact of that and subsequent actions.

Data extraction: Among the lessons learned from this experience is the importance of having input from independent scientists to the regulatory decision-making process. This also demonstrates the critical role of independent peer-reviewed research, such as that supported by the National Institutes of Health, as well as research conducted by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in delineating the consequences of lead exposure in the population.

Data synthesis: Removal of lead from gasoline in the United States has been described as one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century, but it almost did not happen. The experience of the authors in developing this regulation may be helpful to others involved in developing health-based regulatory policy in the future.

Conclusion: The initial U.S. EPA health-based regulation to remove lead from gasoline is clearly an example where science successfully affected public policy. The leadership of the U.S. EPA at that time deserves much credit for establishing an atmosphere in which this was possible.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Parallel decreases in blood lead values and amounts of lead consumed in gasoline between 1976 and 1980 (U.S. EPA 1986).
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f1-ehp-117-1195: Parallel decreases in blood lead values and amounts of lead consumed in gasoline between 1976 and 1980 (U.S. EPA 1986).

Mentions: Removal of lead from gasoline has been particularly beneficial for the health of children in the United States. In 2005, the CDC documented a 98% reduction in the percentage of U.S. children 1–5 years of age with elevated blood lead levels (> 10 μg/dL) from the period 1976–1980 to the period 1999–2002 (CDC 2005). Evidence of this decline began to appear in the 1980s (Annest et al. 1983; CDC 1997; Needleman 2000; Pirkle et al. 1994). Although reduction of lead exposure from a number of sources, particularly food and paint, contributed to this decrease, the action believed most responsible for this rapid and dramatic decline in blood lead levels was removal of lead from gasoline (Annest et al. 1983; Needleman 2000; Pirkle et al. 1994). This conclusion is supported by the close temporal relationship between decreased use of lead in gasoline and subsequent rapid declines in blood lead levels both in the United States and in other countries, as illustrated in Figure 1. For example, studies on six continents have documented an extremely strong correlation between reductions in blood lead and decreased use of lead in gasoline (Thomas et al. 1999).


A personal perspective on the initial federal health-based regulation to remove lead from gasoline.

Bridbord K, Hanson D - Environ. Health Perspect. (2009)

Parallel decreases in blood lead values and amounts of lead consumed in gasoline between 1976 and 1980 (U.S. EPA 1986).
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2721861&req=5

f1-ehp-117-1195: Parallel decreases in blood lead values and amounts of lead consumed in gasoline between 1976 and 1980 (U.S. EPA 1986).
Mentions: Removal of lead from gasoline has been particularly beneficial for the health of children in the United States. In 2005, the CDC documented a 98% reduction in the percentage of U.S. children 1–5 years of age with elevated blood lead levels (> 10 μg/dL) from the period 1976–1980 to the period 1999–2002 (CDC 2005). Evidence of this decline began to appear in the 1980s (Annest et al. 1983; CDC 1997; Needleman 2000; Pirkle et al. 1994). Although reduction of lead exposure from a number of sources, particularly food and paint, contributed to this decrease, the action believed most responsible for this rapid and dramatic decline in blood lead levels was removal of lead from gasoline (Annest et al. 1983; Needleman 2000; Pirkle et al. 1994). This conclusion is supported by the close temporal relationship between decreased use of lead in gasoline and subsequent rapid declines in blood lead levels both in the United States and in other countries, as illustrated in Figure 1. For example, studies on six continents have documented an extremely strong correlation between reductions in blood lead and decreased use of lead in gasoline (Thomas et al. 1999).

Bottom Line: Removal of lead from gasoline in the United States has been described as one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century, but it almost did not happen.The initial U.S. EPA health-based regulation to remove lead from gasoline is clearly an example where science successfully affected public policy.The leadership of the U.S. EPA at that time deserves much credit for establishing an atmosphere in which this was possible.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of International Training and Research, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2220, USA. ken_bridbord@nih.gov

ABSTRACT

Objective: This article describes the personal experience and perspective of the authors, who had primary responsibility for drafting the initial health-based regulation limiting lead content of gasoline during the early 1970s while employed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Data source: Information used by the U.S. EPA in developing the initial health-based regulation limiting lead content of gasoline in December 1973 and studies documenting the impact of that and subsequent actions.

Data extraction: Among the lessons learned from this experience is the importance of having input from independent scientists to the regulatory decision-making process. This also demonstrates the critical role of independent peer-reviewed research, such as that supported by the National Institutes of Health, as well as research conducted by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in delineating the consequences of lead exposure in the population.

Data synthesis: Removal of lead from gasoline in the United States has been described as one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century, but it almost did not happen. The experience of the authors in developing this regulation may be helpful to others involved in developing health-based regulatory policy in the future.

Conclusion: The initial U.S. EPA health-based regulation to remove lead from gasoline is clearly an example where science successfully affected public policy. The leadership of the U.S. EPA at that time deserves much credit for establishing an atmosphere in which this was possible.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus