Lead ABSTRACT

In risk assessment by the Research Center for Chemical Risk Management (CRM), the National Institute of Advanced Science and Technology (AIST), risks of lead in the general environment to human health and ecosystem in Japan are estimated quantitatively and evaluated based on the original analyses in addition to the review of existing information on risks of lead. The purpose of this assessment is to provide information on the current situation of risks from lead in the environment as well as other information that is useful for national and local authorities concerned or business institutions that routinely handle lead, in their decision-making: whether or not to take measures to reduce lead in the environment and what kind of measures are effective to reduce health risks of lead.

The scope of human health risk assessment is the general population. The risks associated with daily exposures to lead through air inhalation and food and drinking water intake are to be assessed. The risks among the workers through exposure in plants where lead is used routinely are excluded from the scope of this risk assessment. The risks with accidental exposure (e.g., accidental ingestion of accessories containing lead among children) are not assessed either.

The ecological risks are assessed for aquatic organisms in public water areas, but terrestrial organisms are excluded from the assessment. Lead poisoning of wild birds, however, is a critical issue in ecological risks, and therefore, current conditions and measures are summarized, and the future challenges are addressed for this issue.

Lead Risk Assessment Document was produced under the Comprehensive Chemical Substance Assessment and Management Program funded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

The full text of Lead Risk Assessment Document (in Japanese) was published by Maruzen Co., Ltd. in September 2006.