The effects of iniquitous lead exposure on health

Disadvantaged communities are vulnerable to the impacts of lead exposure risking further worsening of their living standards, an outcome likely to weaken global efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals. We urge policy makers to adopt protection systems aimed at safeguarding the most threatened populations.

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Fig. 1: Distribution of 75 lead exposure incidents reported in the Chinese news media since 2000.
Fig. 2: Average lead concentrations of selected new decorative paints sold in various countries and regions.


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This work was supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant no. 2018YFC1801300), the National Water Pollution Control and Treatment Science and Technology Major Project (no. 2018ZX07109-003), and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s National Soil Pollution Investigation Project.

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Correspondence to Deyi Hou.

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O’Connor, D., Hou, D., Ok, Y.S. et al. The effects of iniquitous lead exposure on health. Nat Sustain 3, 77–79 (2020).

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