Although lead and lead compounds are some of the most studied substances in commerce, since 2000 the lead industry through the Lead REACH Consortium has invested in excess of €3 million in independent research into the health and environmental impacts of lead.
Industry sponsored scientific research has been fundamental in enhancing the understanding of the risks to human health and the environment presented by exposure to lead and has been used extensively in documents, such as the EU Voluntary Risk Assessment and the REACH Chemical Safety Report.
Recent highlights of the research programme sponsored by the Lead REACH Consortium include:
Study investigating the chronic toxicity of the soluble lead ion to Lymnaea stagnalis, carried out according to the recently adopted OECD 243 protocol, performed under standardised conditions more applicable to classification under CLP.
Biotic ligand models
The completion of many new studies on the environmental fate and effect of lead and the development of biotic ligand models to predict more accurately the toxicity of lead to freshwater species under different environmental conditions. This research has been published by our partners in peer reviewed scientific journals to ensure that findings are shared with all stakeholders (including the scientific and regulatory communities) and has been used to extensively update risk assessments presented in Chemical Safety Reports of REACH registration dossiers of lead metal and compounds.
A full list of publications resulting from industry-sponsored environmental research projects between 2006 and 2017 is available on the ILA website.
Lead exposure study
A major new epidemiology study on the effects of occupational exposure of lead. The unique longitudinal study follows up to 500 new hires over a 2-year period and assess changes to blood pressure, renal function, peripheral nerve conductivity, neurocognitive performance and general quality of life as a function of exposure as measured by blood lead levels. This study will help re-evaluate the REACH DNEL for workers and occupational exposure limits. Further details can be found on ClinicalTrials.gov.
The Lead REACH Consortium continues to assess the research needs to ensure that REACH Registration dossiers remain the most up to date resource of health and environmental effects of lead metal and compounds.