Global Health and Economic Impact of Lead Exposure

Global health burden and cost of lead exposure in children and adults: a health impact and economic modelling analysis

Despite significant reductions in lead exposure, it remains a global health threat. A recent study estimated the worldwide burden and cost of intelligence quotient (IQ) loss and cardiovascular disease mortality due to lead exposure. Findings revealed that in 2019, children under 5 years old lost 765 million IQ points, and 5,545,000 adults died from cardiovascular disease due to lead exposure. The majority of these effects occurred in low- and middle-income countries. The total global cost of lead exposure was $6.0 trillion in 2019, equivalent to 6.9% of the global GDP. These findings highlight the substantial health and economic impact of lead exposure, similar to that of PM2.5 air pollution


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