Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Experts Call on Asian Governments to Remove Lead from Gasoline. (EH Update)

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Experts Call on Asian Governments to Remove Lead from Gasoline. (EH Update)

Article excerpt

At the First International Conference on Environmental Risks to Children's Health, held March 3-7 in Bangkok, Thailand, more than 300 environmental and health experts called for Asian governments to move quickly to remove lead from gasoline.

Studies in Europe and the United States have shown conclusively that the removal of lead from gasoline reduced the levels of lead in children's blood by 90 percent. This in turn led to a 30 to 40 percent reduction in learning disabilities caused by lead," said Dr. Richard Helmer, Director for Environmental Protection at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Initial evidence of similar effects in Asia was presented to the Bangkok conference: Researchers associated with Thailand's Mahidol University detected reductions in the level of lead in children's blood in Bangkok after the introduction of unleaded gasoline in that country.

Over half the world's population lives in Asia, and 40 percent of the population is under 18 years of age. The conference concluded that the damage leaded gasoline would do to children's health and to the future intellectual and economic capacity of the region could be catastrophic.

Asia's industrialization has multiplied the environmental hazards children face. …

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