Economic impact of lead exposure in countries

 The economic impact of lead exposure is made up of direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include those associated with screening and the medical care of acute and chronic lead poisoning, as well as the provision of special education, and managing juvenile delinquency and other criminal behaviours. Indirect costs reflect the economic burden on society from a variety of factors including reduced intelligence and the consequent reduction in economic productivity and tax revenue. 

Trasande & Liu (2011) estimated that the total annual cost of lead poisoning in the USA due to lost economic productivity was US$ 50.9 billion in 2008. There was an estimated US$ 5.9 million in medical care costs. In France, Pichery et al. (2011) estimated that lost lifetime earnings as a result of lead exposure in children amounted to €53.9 billion (US$ 69.8 billion at 2008 values). In Europe, Bartlett & Trasande (2014) estimated economic costs attributable to lead exposure to be around US$ 57 billion, based on estimated IQ losses and impact on economic productivity. 

The estimated economic costs attributable to the neurodevelopmental impacts of childhood lead exposure amounted to 1.2% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 (Attina & Trasande, 2013). Expressed in terms of loss to regional GDP, the estimated cost in Africa was 4.03%, in Latin America and the Caribbean 2.04%, and in Asia 1.88% (Attina & Trasande, 2013).

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