29 Mar 2017

Lead exposure in 1970s and 80s leads to lower IQ - study

From Morning Report, 8:16 am on 29 March 2017

New research has found a small but significant drop in the IQ levels of children exposed to high levels of lead in petrol in the 1970s and 80s.

exhaust fumes

exhaust fumes Photo: wikipedia commons

Otago University's long running Dunedin Study tested the blood of more than 500 children born in 1972 and 73.

New Zealand's lead levels at the time they were children were higher than international standards, mainly because of the lead levels in car exhaust fumes.

Professor Nick Wilson, a public health researcher at Otago University in Wellington, told Morning Report the dangers of lead poisoning have been known for over a century, but not the full extent of the problem.