Young children's exposure to lead in the environment is harming their intellectual and emotional development, according to UK researchers.Which sounds good, right? A crackdown on all those unsafe children’s toys with lead-based paint, and the lead in petrol and…
The researchers say the toxic effects of lead on the central nervous system are obvious even below the current so-called safe level of lead in the blood.
They are recommending the threshold should be halved.
Hang on. Didn’t we already get rid of those?
A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said levels of exposure should be kept to the minimum.So, what are we to do? Raise children in a bubble?
Lead has been removed from paint and petrol by law in the UK, but it is still widespread in the environment.
In 1991, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, revised their level of concern for blood levels down to ten microgrammes per declitre.The reason I’m uneasy about this is because the UK tends to follow the US in all things.
The World Health Organisation estimates that globally half of the urban children under the age of five have blood levels exceeding this limit.
And the hysteria over ‘lead in the environment’ and the need to do something ‘For the children!!’ has led to some pretty ghastly legislation across the water, as US blogger Darleen Click has been highlighting at ‘Protein Wisdom’:
“While Dan exposes Henry Waxman’s [the Democrats' own Nosferatu] latest authoritarian crusade, let’s not forget the havoc that continues apace with his CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement [heh] Act of 2008) .”The CPSIA is pretty frightening legislation, in that it has led to that bane of lawmakers, unintended consequences, for the most unlikely businesses:
“As Walter Olson writes:Other unlikely items have come under the hammer under this legislation too, including used clothing.
It’s hard to believe, but true: under a law Congress passed last year aimed at regulating hazards in children’s products, the federal government has now advised that children’s books published before 1985 should not be considered safe and may in many cases be unlawful to sell or distribute. Merchants, thrift stores, and booksellers may be at risk if they sell older volumes, or even give them away, without first subjecting them to testing - at prohibitive expense. Many used-book sellers, consignment stores, Goodwill outlets, and the like have accordingly begun to refuse new donations of pre-1985 volumes, yank existing ones off their shelves, and in some cases discard them en masse.
And before anyone says eBay will sidestep this…
“And don’t think that one will be able to use the Internet to slip some gently used baby clothes or old illustrated kiddie books into willing hands … cuz Henry is watching.Which makes me think this is less about the dangers of lead in the environment, and more about tightening the state’s grasp over channels of trade and communication that have so far slipped through its fingers.
In order to crack down on online sites such as Craigslist and Ebay, the CPSC says, they are currently working with an internet surveillance team to watch over the online marketplaces. “
Anyone think this can’t happen here? In the UK, where even the lowliest state functionary is a hysterical 'something must be done!' risk-averse nincompoop?
Yeah. That's what I thought.