Lead exposure in outdoor spaces

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Lead is a toxic element for health and more particularly for that of young children. As an environmental pollutant, it can contaminate various environments including food and atmospheric dust. In its expertise published today, ANSES concludes that dust from outdoor public spaces contaminated by lead (sidewalks, roads, street furniture, play areas, etc.) is a source of exposure for the general population to be considered. The Agency stresses that children and certain professionals are the most likely to be exposed to this contaminated dust by contact or ingestion. The Agency issues recommendations to permanently reduce the exposure of populations to lead.

ANSES was contacted by the ministries in charge of Health and Labor in order to characterize exposure to lead via contaminated dust deposited on the surfaces of outdoor public spaces: sidewalks, roads, urban furniture, outdoor play areas , etc… Indeed, lead can be emitted into the air by industrial or craft sites, then deposit in the environment. It can also be found in dust due to erosion or leaching of architectural elements containing it, and contaminate outdoor spaces through this. The contamination may finally be linked to accidental pollution, as was the case during the Notre-Dame de Paris fire in April 2019.

CONTINUE READING ON www.anses.fr (Automatically translated from French)


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