Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

The social costs of childhood lead exposure in the post-lead regulation era

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Research article Cost analysis (CA), Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
Muennig P
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
The authors estimated the benefits that might be realized if all children in the United States had a blood lead level of less than 1 μg/dL. This cost–benefit analysis estimated that policy changes to reduce childhood lead exposure would amount to societal benefits of $50,000 per child annually, and an overall savings of approximately $1.2 trillion for US society as a whole. The authors concluded that more aggressive programs aimed at reducing childhood lead exposure may produce large social benefits.
Children (≤ 6 years)

Health Outcomes

  • Neurological/cognitive outcomes (IQ deficits)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Metals (lead)

Source of Environmental Agents: (Not available)

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost analysis (CA)
  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured:

  • IQ reduction
  • reduced lifetime earnings
  • crime costs
  • welfare costs
  • healthcare costs

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Costs related to teen pregnancy
  • costs related to low-birth weight infants
  • costs related to intergenerational transmission of poverty
  • costs of child abuse and nonviolent criminal activity

Benefits Measures:

  • Increase in high school graduation rates
  • quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained
  • increase in lifetime earnings
  • reduction in administrative overhead for welfare costs
  • reduction in mortality
  • reduction in social costs of crime

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location: (Not available)

Models Used:

  • Markov Model
  • mortality models
  • Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) models

Methods Used:

  • The authors — 1) obtained data from published and electronic sources; 2) utilized a Markov model to project lifetime earnings, reduced crime costs, improvements in health, and reduced welfare costs; and 3) selected model inputs using a "levels of evidence" approach with inputs derived from randomized controlled trials given the highest priority.

Sources Used:

  • NHANES (1999-2006); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Muennig P. 2009. The social costs of childhood lead exposure in the post-lead regulation era. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

to Top