Concern persists over health effects of lead and cadmium intakes

Blood lead levels in England have fallen sharply since the phase-out of leaded petrol and other measures to curb exposures to the metal were introduced in the 1980s, according to an official study. But exposures are still high enough to be causing elevated blood pressure and affecting the intelligence of some children. Meanwhile, another study has shown that cadmium intakes via the diet have not declined since the early 1980s - despite an advisory committee's recommendation for controls on the metal because of the small safety margin between exposures and the possibility of damage to the kidneys.

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