Enabling All Children to Reach Their Potential

Key Publications on Lead and Health

Leaded Batteries: Mapping The Toxic Wast Trail, 2019

Consequences of a Mobile Future: Creating an Environmentally Conscious Life Cycle for Lead-Acid Batteries, World Economic Forum, Dec. 16, 2020.

Blood Lead Level Estimates for Low- and Middle-Income Countries

The 32nd Annual ISEE Conference
August 24-27, 2020. Virtual Presentation

Bret Ericson, PhD; Howard Hu, MD; Emily Nash, MPH; Greg Ferraro, MA; Julia Sinitsky, MA; and Mark Patrick Taylor, PhD

Global Lead Program: Proven Strategies to Remediate Lead Pollution and Reduce Public Health Risks

Lanphear, Bruce P, et al. “Low-Level Lead Exposure and Mortality in US Adults: a Population-Based Cohort Study.” The Lancet Public Health, vol. 3, no. 4, 12 Mar. 2018, doi:10.1016/s2468-2667(18)30025-2 .

Landrigan, Philip J. “Lead and the Heart: an Ancient Metal’s Contribution to Modern Disease.The Lancet Public Health, vol. 3, no. 4, 12 Mar. 2018, doi:10.1016/s2468-2667(18)30043-4.

“Survey on Lead Prevalence in Children’s Blood in Georgia: Prevalence on a Country Level.” UNICEF. April 2019.

Nevin, Rick. “Trends in Preschool Lead Exposure, Mental Retardation, and Scholastic Achievement: Association or Causation?” Environmental Research, vol. 109, no. 3, 2009, pp. 301–310., doi:10.1016/j.envres.2008.12.003.

Nevin, Rick. “Understanding International Crime Trends: The Legacy of Preschool Lead Exposure.” Environmental Research, vol. 104, no. 3, 2007, pp. 315–336., doi:10.1016/j.envres.2007.02.008.

A meta-analysis of blood lead levels in India and the attributable burden of disease. Environmental International. Ericson B, Dowling R, Dey S, Caravanos J, Mishra N, Fisher S, Ramirex M, Sharma P, McCartor A, Guin P, Taylor M and Fuller R. Dec 2018; 121(1).

Lead intoxicated children in Kabwe, Zambia. Environmental Research. Bose-O’Reilly S, Yabe J, Makumba J, Schutzmeier P, Ericson B, Caravanos J. Aug 2018; 165.

Pollution and non-communicable disease: time to end the neglect. The Lancet Planetary Health. Fuller R, Rahona E, Fisher S. March 2018; 2(3).

Assessment of the prevalence of lead-based paint exposure risk in Jakarta, Indonesia. Science of The Total Environment.  Ericson B, Hariojati N, Susilori B, Fisher Crampe L, Fuller R,  Taylor MP,  and Caravanos J. March 2019; 657.

Cost effectiveness of environmental lead risk mitigation in low‐ and middle‐income countries. (download pdfGeoHealth. Ericson B, Caravanos J, et al. Feb 2018: 2(2).

Reporte nacional de niveles de plomo en sangre y uso de barro vidriado en población infantil vulnerable (National report of lead levels in blood and use of lead-glazed potteryin vulnerable children), download pdf, Salud Publica (Public Health Mexico), Dec. 2019. Téllez-Rojo MM, Bautista Arredondo LF, Trejo Valdivia B, Cantoral A, Estrada Sánchez D, Kraiem R, Pantic I, Rosa Parra A, Gómez-Acosta LM, Romero Martínez M, Cuevas-Nasu L, Shamah-Levy T, Fuller R, Tamayo and Ortiz M.

Improving human health outcomes with a low-cost intervention to reduce exposures from lead acid battery recycling: Dong Mai, Vietnam. Environmental Research. Ericson B, Duong T, et al. Feb 2018; 161.

A meta-analysis of blood lead levels in India and attributable burden of disease Conference Paper: International Conference of the Public Health Foundation of India and the Pacific Basin Consortium. New Delhi, India. Nov 2017.

Pérdida de coeficiente intelectual en hijos de alfareros mexicanos (Intelligence quotient loss in Mexican pottery artisan’s children). Revistamedica. May 2017

Estimating the prevalence of toxic waste sites in low- and middle-income countries. Annals of Global Health. Dowling R, Caravanos J, Grigsby P, Rivera A, Ericson B, et al. Sept 2016; 82(5).

The global burden of lead toxicity attributable to informal used lead-acid battery sites. (download pdfAnnals of Global Health. Ericson B, Landrigan P, Taylor MP, Frostad J, Caravanos J, Keith J, Fuller R. Sept 2016; 82(5).

Risk factors for children’s blood lead levels in metal mining and smelting communities in Armenia: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. Grigoryan R, Petrosyan V, Melkomian D, et al. Sept 2016; 16.

Burden of disease resulting from lead exposure at toxic waste sites In Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay. Environmental Health. Caravanos J, Carrelli J, Dowling  R, Pavilonis B, Ericson B, Fuller R. June 2016; 15(72).  (Infographic)

  • Though lead contaminated waste sites have been widely researched in many high-income countries, their prevalence and associated health outcomes have not been well documented in low- and middle-income countries.

Protecting communities by remediating polluted sites worldwide. Institution of Civil Engineers – Civil Engineering. Hanrahan D, Ericson B, Caravanos J. May 2016; 169(5). (pdf)

The pediatric burden of disease from lead exposure at toxic waste sites in low and middle income countriesEnvironmental Research Chatham-Stephens K, Caravanos J, Ericson B, Landrigan P,  Fuller R. July 2014; 132.

  • This paper found that elevated soil and water lead levels at 200 toxic waste sites are affecting nearly 800,000 children under age 4, and predicted blood lead levels that lower intelligence levels, likely resulting in limited individual and country development.

Blood Lead Levels in Mexico and Pediatric Burden of Disease Implications. Annals Of Global Health.  Caravanos J, et al. 2014; 4.

  • This article provides an extensive historical review and analysis of available blood lead levels in Mexican populations. Reviewing all relevant studies, the geometric means of Mexican BLLs in urban and rural areas were found to be 8.85 and 22.24 ug/dL, respectively. Since the phase-out of leaded gasoline, the mean in urban areas was found to be 5.36 ug/dL and the average in rural areas is expected to be much higher.

Niveles de Plomo en Sangre en México y su Implicación para la Carga Pediátrica de la Enfermedad. Annals Of Global Health. Caravanos J, et al. 2014; 4.

  • Este artículo proporciona una extensa revisión histórica y análisis de los niveles de plomo de sangre disponibles en poblaciones mexicanas. Una media geométrica calculada entonces fue utilizada para evaluar el efecto del plomo sobre la carga de morbilidad pediátrica.

Attina TM, Trasande L 2013. Economic costs of childhood lead exposure in low- and middle-income countries. Environ Health Perspet 121:1097-1102;

Improving and Expanding Estimates of the Global Burden of Disease Due to Environmental Health Risk Factors. Environmental Health Perspectives. Shaffer R, Sellers S, Fuller R, et al. Oct 2019; 127(10).

United Nations Environment Programme, International Lead Association. “The Environmentally Sound Management of Used Lead Acid Batteries and the Use and Application of the Benchmarking Assessment Tool Workshop. Geneva, Switzerland. October 2018.

“Promoting the Environmentally Sound Management of Waste Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULAB).” United Nations Environment Programme.

World Health Organization. (2017). “Recycling used lead-acid batteries: health considerations.

World Health Organization. Childhood Lead Poisoning. 2010.

“Estimating the Prevalence of Toxic Waste Sites in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.”  Russell Dowling, Jack Caravanos, Patrick Grigsby, Anthony Rivera, Bret Ericson, Yaw Amoyaw-Osei, Bennett Akuff, Richard Fuller. Annals of Global Health. 2016.

Human Rights Watch.  “We have to be worried: The Impact of Lead Contamination on Children’s Rights in Kabwe, Zambia.” 2019.

Bose-O’Reilly, S., Yabe, J., Makumba, J., Schutzmeier, P. ,Ericson, B., & Caravanos, J. (2018). Lead intoxicated children in Kabwe, Zambia. Environmental Research, 165, 420-424.

Estrada-Sanchez, D., Ericson, B., Juarez-Perez, C.A., Aguilar-Madrid, G., Hernandez, L., Gualtero, S., Caravanos, J. “Intelligence Quotient loss in the children of Mexican ceramicists.” Revista Medica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguo Social, 55 (3), 292-299. 

“Blood Lead Levels in Mexican Children: A Module in the ENSANUT-PROSPERA Survey.” Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica and Pure Earth. Dec. 10, 2018.

Otsuka M, Itai, T, Asante, KA, Muto, M, Tanabe, S. Trace Element Contamination around the e-Waste Recycling Site at Agbogbloshie, Accra City, Ghana. Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry—Environmental Pollution and Ecotoxicology, TERRAPUB 2012; 161-167.]

Caravanos, Jack; Clark, Edith; Fuller, Richard; Lambertson, Calah (2011-02-01). “Assessing Worker and Environmental Chemical Exposure Risks at an e-Waste Recycling and Disposal Site in Accra, Ghana”Journal of Health and Pollution1(1): 16–25. doi:10.5696/jhp.v1i1.22ISSN 2156-9614.

Aboh, Innocent Joy Kwame; Sampson, Manukure Atiemo; Nyaab, Leticia Abra-Kom; Caravanos, Jack; Ofosu, Francis Gorman; Kuranchie-Mensah, Harriet (2013-06-01). “Assessing Levels of Lead Contamination in Soil and Predicting Pediatric Blood Lead Levels in Tema, Ghana”Journal of Health and Pollution3 (5): 7–12. doi:10.5696/2156-9614-3.5.7ISSN 2156-9614

The World Bank, Enhancing Opportunities for Clean and Resilient Growth in Urban Bangladesh, Country Environmental Analysis 2018,

“The deadly business: Findings from the Lead Recycling Africa Project.”  Oeko-Institut e.V. 

Gomez, H.,, Blood lead levels of children in Flint, Mich.:2006-2016. The Journal of Pediatrics.

Lead Toxicity. What Are U.S. Standards for Lead Levels? U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. June 2017.

Blood Lead Levels in Mexico and Pediatric Burden of Disease Implications. Caravanos, J., Dowling, R., Tellez-Rojo, Cantoral, A., Kobrosly, R., Estrada, D., Orjuela, M., Gualtero, S., Ericson, B., Rivera, A., Fuller, R. Annals of Global Health. Vol. 80, Issue 4. July-August 2014, Pages 269-277.!

Tsering Jan van der Kujip, Lei Huang, Christopher R. Cherry. “Health hazards of China’s lead-acid battery industry: a review of its market drivers, production processes, and health impacts.” Environmental Health. August. 3, 2013.

Ericson, B., Landrigan, P., Taylor, MP, Frostad, J., Caravanos, J., Keight, J., Fuller, R. “The Global Burden of Lead Toxicity Attributable to Informal Used Lead-Acid Battery Sites.” Annals of Global Health. Vol. 82, No. 5, 2016. ISSN 2214-9996/536.00

U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Perry Gottesfeld & Amod K. Pokhrel (2011) Review: Lead Exposure in Battery Manufacturing and Recycling in Developing Countries and Among Children in Nearby Communities, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 8:9, 520-532, DOI: 10.1080/15459624.2011.601710]

“Phase-out of leaded petrol brings huge health and cost benefits – UN–backed study”. United Nations News Centre. 27 October 2011.

Aizer, Anna; Currie, Janet (May 2017). “Lead and Juvenile Delinquency: New Evidence from Linked Birth, School and Juvenile Detention Records”. NBER Working Paper No. 23392.

Needleman, H., Riess, J., Tobin, M., Biesecker, G., and Green- house, J. (1996). Born lead levels and delinquent behavior. JAMA.

Needleman HL et al. (1990). The long-term effects of exposure to low doses of lead in childhood. An 11-year follow-up report. New England Journal of Medicine, 322(2):83–88.

Kaul B, Sandhu RS, Deprattt C, Reyes F (1999) Follow-up screening of lead-poisoned children near an auto battery recycling plant, Haina, Dominican Republic. Environ Health Perpect 107:917-920