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Lead in urban street dust


LEAD pollution and its effects on health are matters of general concern1,2. The potential danger to children is now receiving particular attention. Lead in various inorganic forms may be inhaled or ingested, and various sources of ingested lead (for example food, tapwater, paint) are recognised, and tolerable limits have been established. Recently, it was claimed2 that for children in urban surroundings the dust of streets and playgrounds is a potentially significant source of lead, and that the lead in such dust can be over 1,000 p.p.m. (0.1%). This is a source of lead which is not immediately controllable, but we consider that its importance as a component of the lead intake of urban children has not been sufficiently assessed.

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DAY, J., HART, M. & ROBINSON, M. Lead in urban street dust. Nature 253, 343–345 (1975).

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