Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lead Exposure

Exposure to lead could lead to hearing loss. That's the finding of a new study checking the level of lead in the blood of a group of teenagers. Overall, a fifth of the teens had some hearing loss. The teens with the most lead in their blood were more likely to have hearing loss. Nearly a third of the teens with high levels of lead did not pass the hearing exam, while less than a fifth of those while low lead exposure failed the hearing test. While the study suggests a correlation between hearing loss and lead exposure, the study did not show whether one causes the other. The researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston say the level of what is considered safe exposure to lead should be lowered. Details of the studay are in the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.