This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
I could not find if this has been asked before or not. If it has, please feel free to shunt me off.
To make the story short, I am a mountainbiker. As of recently, the US has decided to hammer down bike parts because of lead content in the paint. Since they consider any wheels 24" and smaller 'toys' the paint has to be lead free(or <600ppm I think).
This is going to effect the price of many components in mountainbikes, as they are common.
I do not live in the US but the ripple will be felt throughout the industry world wide.
Are there any studies out there that show lead poisoning related to lead in toy paint ingestion?
(And I know, many cars have smaller that 24" wheels, but I don't think they'll be considered toys)
This U.S. measure you describe, is nothing to do with protecting children from the effects of lead in paint, but rather to protect American industry against foreign imports - in other words it's an underhand non tariff barrier to trade. They did exactly the same thing over lead compounds in glazes (as applied to pottery and china) on the excuse that the lead in glazes was a health risk. Complete nonsense of course, but handy for keeping out foreign competion to home production.
But... THEY are the ones outsourcing to foreign countries! Is not like cars, where the competition enters. These are products they used to manufacture but chose to outsource! Well, it would be like them to shoot themselves on the foot I guess.
There was a fairly well documented case in Montreal of some children exhibiting symptoms of lead poisoning. The father was a scientist and traced it to the glaze on a pitcher used to keep the family orange juice. Both mother and father were later found to have subclinical cases. I agree that this is a rare event, but it can happen.
I don't think there are likely to be any studies on anything as specific as lead poisoning cases caused by ingesting lead paint on toys.
I found a UK study which gives the number of overall lead poisoning cases requiring hospitalisation in England:
The above link is for the abstract, the paper is free to download but requires a registration with the website.
The number is 83 cases in 3 years with 27 out of the 83 being children (under 15 years old). So that would be 28 cases of lead poisoning per year, which includes 9 cases of children per year.
Compare that with the number of cases of people struck by lightning per year in the UK, which is about 30 to 60 per year, including 3 deaths per year. So the risk of being hospitalised by lead poisoning is slightly lower than the risk of being struck by lightning.
Even if the lead levels don't go as far as actually poisoning somebody, ingesting lead is supposed to have some adverse health effects, but not being a medical person I don't know precisely what the health effects are. I remember the Greenies coming up with a bizarre claim in 2007 that improvements in crime statistics were attributable to the banning of leaded petrol (gasoline).
An incredibly fatuous claim, as I'm sure we all already assumed. That report was either an exemplary piece of self delusion, or a weak attempt at bolstering the image of the greenies as the 'good guys'.
Weasel words and some incredibly tenuous reasoning aplenty.
I suspect that the main reason for improvements in crime figures is twofold.
1) There is more unreported crime as people have lost confidence in the police who they view as incompetent & unable to find their own bums with both hands & the aid of a sniffer dog.
2) They're getting better at manipulating the statistics.
DaveE - how would one test such a hypothesis? For that matter, how would one show a link between a reduction in environmental lead and a reduciton in crime? Levitt and Dunbar, in Freakonomics, attributed a fall in crime in the USA to the popularity of abortions. Is it OK just to make this stuff up as one goes along?
"Is it OK just to make this stuff up as one goes along?" I think it is, Obama decided to fund more climate modelling.
1) Is anecdotal. In the area in which I live, people have given up reporting anything other than the most serious of crimes.
2) That's just a sneaky suspicion.
3) I go along with Francisco.