(AP) — More than 170 million U.S.-born people who were adults in 2015 were exposed to harmful levels of lead as kids. That word, from a new study that looks into how widespread early childhood lead exposure was in the U.S. between 1940 and 2015. The study says half the U.S. adult population in 2015 had been exposed to lead levels surpassing five micrograms per deciliter, which is the federal threshold for harmful lead exposure at the time. Early childhood lead exposure is known to have many effects on cognitive development, but experts say it also increases risk for developing hypertension and heart disease.
Photo: FILE – This Sept. 13, 1979, file photo shows motorists as downtown parking lots fill up in Los Angeles. Over 170 million of people born in the United States who were adults in 2015 were exposed to harmful levels of lead as children, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, March 7, 2022. The researchers looked only at lead exposure caused by leaded gasoline, the dominant form of lead exposure from the 1940s to the late 1980s, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey. (AP Photo/Wally Fong, File)