[GRRN] FW: Garbage incineration cause of urban lead pollution

Lacaze, Skip (Skip.Lacaze@ci.sj.ca.us)
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 10:56:00 -0800

From: LIBRARY-HQ@epamail.epa.gov

Enviro-Newsbrief February 9, 1999

Getting the Lead Out. The New York Times, February 9, 1999, pD5.

Leaded gasoline has long been thought to be the major cause
of high levels of lead in the atmosphere. Ever since unleaded
gasoline was introduced in the 1970's, levels of lead in the
atmosphere and in the blood of people living in cities have been
on the decline.
New research, however, suggests that other causes,
specifically the burning of garbage, may have been a more
important factor than leaded gasoline. Researchers from Columbia
University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation studied core
samples from the floor of Central Park Lake. What they found were
rising concentrations of lead from the 1860's to a peak between
the late 1930's and the early 1960's. This peak occurred before
the peak of use of leaded gasoline, but corresponded with a rise
in incineration of garbage in the region. Furthermore, during
the years of heavy leaded gasoline use, the late 1960's, there
was only a small rise in lead levels in the samples.
The study is published in the journal _Environmental Science
and Technology_.


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