Lead Exposure May Cause Depression and Anxiety in Children

A high level of lead exposure has long been known to cause serious behavioral problems in children, however, a recent study has found that even low levels of exposure can create serious problems. Anxiety and depression were among two of the most common affects cited in the study.

This study was conducted in China, following over a thousand children in Jintan, where experts believed that pollution, caused by industrialization of the region, was seriously affecting the population. First tested as preschoolers, lead levels averaged at 6.5 micrograms per deciliter of blood. Cognitive and behavior were then tested until the age of six, and there was a definite positive correlation between high levels of lead in the blood and depression, anxiety, and cognition.

Other studies focused mainly on lead exposure and its effects on the teenage population. The goal of this study was to confirm earlier tests and to prove that even low levels of lead exposure can begin to become a large problem. The study was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and referenced earlier tests in which aggression and juvenile delinquency were closely linked to lead.

While teenagers who are exposed to this element are more likely to show outward aggression, especially to authority figures, the younger set was far more likely to internalize their anger and manifest it as increased anxiety or a depressed attitude. Reports of these moods came from both teachers and the children’s parents.

Until recently, the United States’ acceptable lead action level was as high as 10 micrograms per deciliter. That number has recently been lowered to 5 micrograms, though, in reality, the CDC admits, there is no number of micrograms that is safe for children. The Chinese’s level remains at 10 micrograms, despite the results of the study.

Where does this contamination come from? Largely from pollution. Though China no longer uses a lead additive in their gasoline, there is still plenty of pollution that contains lead, thanks to years of industry who used the lead-laced gas. Lead was also a main ingredient in many different kinds of paint, which are often used on toys. In recent years, when this was discovered, toys developed in China have been banned from many retailers, until the lead-paint issue has been resolved.

There is a third source of lead in China—the batteries on electronic bicycles. There is currently no system to deal with the dead batteries. Where the children in the study picked up their lead, it is impossible to tell.

About Brickley Environmental

Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.

What the Surgeon General Is Saying about Asbestos

According to a statement released by the Acting Surgeon General of the United States, Boris Lushniak, there is no level of exposure to asbestos that is safe for humans. In relation to that statement, he continued that serious provisions should be made to safeguard the public against this substance.

While we have long known that asbestos is the root of diseases like lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other lung-related diseases, it can be difficult to determine whether or not those diseases, when they develop in individuals, are a result of asbestos exposure or another cause. Because many of these diseases take years to develop before they begin to show symptoms, making the connection is difficult and sometimes impossible.

These statements were made in conjunction with an announcement that the Surgeon General would be speaking at the 10th Annual Asbestos Disease Awareness Conference, held by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. The ADAO was extremely grateful to hear the Surgeon General’s statement, as they have been campaigning government bodies for almost ten years for help spreading awareness about and reducing the risks of asbestos exposure and the diseases related to that exposure.

Asbestos was widely used in construction applications during a large part of the last century, meaning that many older buildings likely have asbestos in their insulations. Though some suspected that it was a dangerous material, it was lightweight, flame resistant, and inexpensive, making it extremely popular as an insulator for commercial and residential buildings, as well as freight ships and even cruisers built for military use.

When it was discovered that inhaled fibers could burrow their way into the lining of the lung and begin growing aggressive, malignant tumors there, after a period of dormancy, the use of this material was largely discontinued, but the damage was done. Across the country, schools, offices, and homes already contained the material, exposing millions and millions to these dangerous fibers.

According to the president of the ADAO, 10,000 people in the U.S. die from asbestos-related illnesses every year. Her organization has been petitioning Congress to pass a ban on the use of asbestos as an insulation material, which would make it the fifty-sixth country in the world to do so. 950 tons of Asbestos are still used every year in manufacturing plants around the country, exposing countless workers and civilians to the materials, even though it is widely known that it is a carcinogen.

The Acting Surgeon General’s statement shows progress for the ADAO’s request. Having been acknowledge by a high ranking government officials lends legitimacy to the ADAO’s crusade, and there is hope that the near future will see a ban on this harmful material.

About Brickley Environmental

Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.

What Are the Hazards of Asbestos?

What is asbestos?

According to the United States Department of Labor, Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion. Asbestos has been used in products, such as insulation for pipes (steam lines for example), floor tiles, building materials, and in vehicle brakes and clutches. Asbestos includes the mineral fibers chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and any of these materials that have been chemically treated or altered.

Heavy exposures tend to occur in the construction industry and in ship repair, particularly during the removal of asbestos materials due to renovation, repairs, or demolition. Workers are also likely to be exposed during the manufacture of asbestos products (such as textiles, friction products, insulation, and other building materials) and during automotive brake and clutch repair work.

What are the hazards of asbestos?

Asbestos is well recognized as a health hazard and its use is now highly regulated by both OSHA and EPA. Asbestos fibers associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause a buildup of scar-like tissue in the lungs called asbestosis and result in loss of lung function that often progresses to disability and death.

Asbestos also causes cancer of the lung and other diseases such as mesothelioma of the pleura which is a fatal malignant tumor of the membrane lining the cavity of the lung or stomach. Epidemiologic evidence has increasingly shown that all asbestos fiber types, including the most commonly used form of asbestos, chrysotile, causes mesothelioma in humans.

How to Remove Asbestos?

In order to properly and safely remove Asbestos it is imperative to contact an expert.

At Brickley Environmental, we have 30 years’ experience providing environmental remediation services in Southern California, and asbestos abatement has been our primary focus.

All of our managers, supervisors and technicians have been trained and certified in asbestos containment and removal at EPA- and state-approved schools. In addition, our company has one of the best safety records in the industry.

Contact an expert today by calling 1.800.530.3366

What can be done to reduce the hazards of asbestos?

Worker exposure to asbestos hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for the construction industry, general industry and shipyard employment sectors. These standards reduce the risk to workers by requiring that employers provide personal exposure monitoring to assess the risk and hazard awareness training for operations where there is any potential exposure to asbestos.

Airborne levels of asbestos are never to exceed legal worker exposure limits. There is no “safe” level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber.Asbestos exposures as short in duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans.Every occupational exposure to asbestos can cause injury of disease; every occupational exposure to asbestos contributes to the risk of getting an asbestos related disease.

Where there is exposure, employers are required to further protect workers by establishing regulated areas, controlling certain work practices and instituting engineering controls to reduce the airborne levels. The employer is required to ensure exposure is reduced by using administrative controls and provide for the wearing of personal protective equipment. Medical monitoring of workers is also required when legal limits and exposure times are exceeded.

How can OSHA Help?

OSHA has developed this webpage to provide workers and employers useful, up-to-date information on asbestos. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers’ Rights, Employer Responsibilities and other services OSHA offers, read OSHA’s Workers page.

About Brickley Environmental

Brickley Environmental creates safe-and-sound schools, homes, and buildings by designing and executing safe, cost-effective containment, abatement and removal solutions. We do it right the first time — making your profits predictable while supporting your ethical standards and reputation for excellence — and have served Southern California for over 30 years.