THE LEAD BATTLE ENTERS THE COURTS

Reference is made to the action being taken by three parents, who live by the Westway Motorway in London's Notting Hill area, who are suing the petrol companies on behalf of their children. They are claiming damages for nuisance, assault and negligence on the grounds that their children are being poisoned by lead in the fumes from cars. An article by a solicitor is quoted which indicates that selling leaded petrol might be an indictable misdemeanour at common law, in that to qualify under the law a nuisance must affect the public at large. The author states that the parents' case for damages rests on recent evidence implicating even tiny doses of lead in processes leading to brain damage. The results of the Department of the Environment's joint Working party on lead pollution around Gravelly Hill in Birmingham are quoted. These indicate that no less than 10 per cent of children in the city's inner areas under the age of 13 are actually experiencing a disturbance of central nervous system functions because of elevated body burdens of lead. Information is also provided on studies carried out recently in Boston, New York, Montreal and Duesseldorf, which confirm the existence of sub-clinical effects of lead on children's mental performance. Reference is made to measurements undertaken in central Frankfurt, after the introduction of the second phase of the German lead law, reducing the maximum level of lead in petrol by 62.5 percent to 0.15 g/l, which indicated a 65 percent drop in airborne lead levels.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    IPC Magazine Limited

    King's Reach Tower, Stamford Street
    London SE1 9LS,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Mathews, J
  • Publication Date: 1978-7-13

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 118-119
  • Serial:
    • NEW SCIENTIST
    • Volume: 79
    • Issue Number: 1111
    • Publisher: REED BUSINESS INFORMATION LTD
    • ISSN: 0262-4079

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184511
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM