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Parliamentary questions
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27 May 2010
Question for written answer E-3728/2010
to the Commission
Rule 117
Elena Oana Antonescu (PPE)

 Subject: Dangers of exposure to lead concentrations in foodstuffs and water
 Answer in writing 

At the request of the Commission, EFSA has investigated the levels of lead in foodstuffs and water. Its study has concluded that the lead levels found in foodstuffs and tap water, in particular, can have adverse effects on human health.

Pregnant women and children are the population groups most vulnerable to lead exposure. Once it has entered the body, lead can affect brain function, and especially manual dexterity and short‑term verbal memory, and can even trigger psychological problems. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that exposure to lead affects child brain development. A correlation has been established between blood lead levels and low IQs in children. At the same time, several studies on adults have demonstrated a link between blood lead concentrations and systolic arterial pressure, and a link with renal problems.

The EFSA study concluded that, as it stands, the provisional tolerable weekly dose is actually too high, and hence harmful.

1. Bearing in mind that the EFSA study acknowledged that lead is harmful for the body, but did not suggest another provisional tolerable weekly dose, what action will the Commission take to inform consumers of the newly‑identified risks? What action will it take to reduce these health risks?

2. Does the Commission intend to draw up new safety standards for workers in the lead mining industry?

Original language of question: ROOJ C 170 E, 10/06/2011
Právne upozornenie - Politika ochrany súkromia