Page images
PDF
EPUB

Senator MUSKIE. They were rechecked since Dr. Prindle testified last week?

Mr. WORMSER. That is my understanding, sir.

Senator MUSKIE. We will ask Dr. Prindle subsequently on that point. But whether or not that is the case, you are reading the report, The finding which was issued before last week, as confirming this fact.

Is there any language in the report that in your words "confirms" the fact that the lead content of air does not constitute a public health hazard ?

Mr. WORMSER. This is essentially my conclusion in examining this report, sir. I find no evidence in here that it is a public health hazard.

Senator MUSKIE. Does the report say that?
Mr. WORMSER. No, sir. I say this. This is my statement.

. Senator MUSKIE. That is the point I wanted to clear up. You say from your study of the report that it confirms that it does not constitute a public health hazard, but the report itself does not say that.

Mr. WORMSER. That is correct.

Senator MUSKIE. Then you and the report disagree as to what the report means? Mr. WORMSER. I feel that the evidence that they have supplied

Senator MUSKIE. Since you draw one conclusion from the findings of the report, and the report itself does not draw that conclusion, then you and those who wrote the report disagree as to whether or not it confirms the fact that the lead content of air does not constitute a public health hazard.

Mr. WORMSER. I can only speak from my own interpretation, sir, of course, and I feel that the evidence they have supplied indicates that it does not constitute a public health hazard.

Senator MUSKIE. If those who are responsible for the report do not feel that it confirms the fact that the lead content of air does not constitute a public health hazard, then you and they are in disagreement?

Mr. WORMSER. Very obviously.

This PHS study included a broad-scale human sampling program to establish parallel biological data. The biological sample obtained revealed no significant accumulation of lead in people. In addition, the United Nations World Health Organization publicly stated last December, "No increase in lead contamination is found by WHO investigation."

The WHO study conducted in 16 countries, including the United States, was coordinated by Dr. Leonard J. Goldwater of Columbia University. The study group reported that there has been no increase in lead contamination in the last two decades. Further, WHO said, the results of recent investigations of lead content in the human body and of daily intake through air, food, and water do not differ greatly from those shown by older investigations.

If there has been any change, the report says, it would appear that at present man is exposed on the whole to less lead in his environment than he was 20 years ago, although greater tonnages are now used in industry and motor fuel additives. Because of these latter uses the report suggests that we not be complacent, and in this we concur, as is demonstrated in forward-going studies on lead in the environment.

The amount of research on lead done and published, the significance

of this, the interpretation of its meanings to the public, and the contributions made to the lead working industry, as well as the general public, is so vast that I can do no more than indicate here the general results.

But all of the facts leading to my generalized statements have been published at length for the whole scientific and medical community to read, study, and act upon for greater safety measures. The most serious challenge that I have heard is that continued studies should be made; that we should not be complacent in what we have learned.

The need to know in greater detail more about the environmental distribution of lead was brought out quite clearly at the recently held Symposium on Lead sponsored by the U.S. Public Health Service, Division of Air Pollution, in Washington, and in this we, of the lead industry, wholeheartedly agree, and we agree by continuing not just our own support of independent research but by encouraging all others to do likewise.

In conclusion, I should like to state, more is known about the biological effects of lead than about almost any other air-borne substance. It is one of the most thoroughly investigated areas in the field of air pollution and health. These points are made to support the fact that there is probably no metal about which so much is known in relation to individual and general health.

On the basis of this scientific knowledge, I can positively assert that lead constitutes no public health hazard in America today. Nevertheless, continued research on lead and its significance to human beings is necessary and desirable and is being carried out. Among research projects, recommended by our medical advisers, in various phases of planning and preparation, is a continuation of the “Three Cities Survey," also a fundamental investigation of the biochemical basis of the function of lead, and in particular the mechanism by which it brings about changes; research into bone marrow biopsy as a measure of the total body lead burden and neurophysiological effects from lead exposure.

Finally, I do not think I can do better than bring to your attention the statement published in the Archives of Environmental Health of the American Medical Association in February of this year. In reference to discussions on lead, this statement was made by the Committee on Occupational Toxicology of the Council on Occupational Health of the American Medical Association and concludes as follows: The committee feels obliged to point out that as a result of years of careful clinical study in workers in the lead industry, significant, subtle, and unrecognized or "unrecognizable" changes are not occurring in the general population as a result of its exposure to environmental lead. In fact, this vast clinical evidence, evaluated by a great number of clinically trained scientists, suggests that the general public is not now, nor in the immediate future, facing a lead hazard.

Mr. Chairman, may I also add to my statement a quotation from an article that I just ran into yesterday? It is a study by Dr. Thomas J. Haley, of Los Angeles, entitled "Chronic Lead Intoxication From Environmental Contamination-Myth or Fact." It is a result of a study that was supported by a contract between the Atomic Energy Commission and the University of California. I am only going to read the last line of the article, which is in italics. He says: The supposed chronic lead intoxication from environmental contamination is a myth, not a fact.

Senator MUSKIE. Thank

you. Did you want to include in the record the list of members of your association ?

Mr. WORMSER. Yes, sir; I would like to have that included. Senator MUSKIE. That will be included in the record at this point. (The membership list follows:)

MEMBERS OF THE LEAD INDUSTRIES ASSOCLATION, Iyc., MAY 20, 1966 Alcan Metals Powders, Inc.,' Box 290, Elizabeth, N.J. 07207. Allied Smelting Corp., 5115 W. Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, Wis. 53214. Alpha Metals, Inc., Box 34, Bergen Station, Jersey City, N.J. 07304. American Metal Climax, Inc., 1270 Avenue of Americas, New York City 10020. American Smelting & Refining Company. 120 Broadway, New York City 10005. American Zinc, Lead & Smelting Company, Paul Brown Bldg., St. Louis, Mo.

63101. The Anaconda Company, 25 Broadway, New York City 10004. Asarco Mexicana, S.A.,- Apartado Postal 38 Bis., Mexico 1, D.F. The G.A. Avril Company, Lead Products Division, Post Office Box 12050, Cincin

nati, Ohio 45212. Bers and Company, Inc., Ashland and Lewis Streets, Philadelphia, Pa. 19124. Broken Hill Associated Smelters Proprietary Ltd., 95 Collins Street, Box 1291 K,

Melbourne Ci, Australia. Broken Hill South, Ltd., Box 194 C, GPO, Melbourne, Australia. The Bunker Hill Company, Box 29, Kellogg, Idaho 83837. C & D Batteries, Eltra Corporation, Washington and Cherry Streets, Consho

hocken, Pa. 19428. Cambridge Smelting Company, 100 Pacific Street, Cambridge, Mass. Cerro Sales Corporation, 300 Park Avenue, New York City, 10022. Circle Wire & Cable Co., 5500 Maspeth Avenue, Maspeth, L.I., New York. Cominco, Ltd., 030 Dorchester Boulevard, West, Montreal 2, Canada. Day Mines, Inc., Wallace, Idaho 83873. Delco Remy Division, General Motors Corp., 2401 Columbus Avenue, Anderson,

Ind. 46011. Dickson Weatherproof Nail Co., Box 590, Evanston, Ill., 60204. Dixie Lead Company, Box 8625, Dallas, Tex. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Del. 19898. Eagle Picher Company, American Building, Cincinnati, Ohio 45201. The Electric Storage Battery Company, Box 8109. Philadelphia, Pa. 19101. Ethyl Corporation, 100 Park Avenue, New York City 10017. Evans Lead Division, National Lead Company, Box 1467, Charleston, W. Va.

25325. Federated Metals Division, American Smelting & Refining Company, 120 Broad

way, New York City 10005. Aaron Ferer and Sons Co., 101–19 South Eighth Street, Omaha, Nebr. 68102. The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, Box F, Firestone Park, Akron, Ohio

44317. Gardiner Metal Company, 4820 South Campbell Avenue, Chicago, Ill. 60632. Goldsmith Bros. Division, National Lead Company, 111 North Wabash Avenue,

Chicago, Ill. 60602. Hammond Lead Products, Inc., 5231 Hohman Avenue, Hammond, Ind. Hecla Mining Company, Wallace, Idaho 83873. Homestake Mining, 100 Bush Street, San Francisco, Calif. 94104. Houston Chemical Corporation, 200 Madison Avenue, New York City 10016. International Smelting & Refining Co. (Anaconda Sales Co., Agents), 25 Broad

way, New York City 10004. Industrial Smelting Company. 19430 M and Elliott Avenue, Detroit, Mich. 48234. Knapp Mills, Incorporated, 23–15 Borden Avenue, Long Island City, N.Y. 11101. Lead Products Company, Inc., Box 1341, Houston, Tex. 77001. Lucky Friday Silver-Lead Mines ('0., Wallace. Idaho 83873. John R. MacGregor Lead Co., 4520 West Fifteenth Street, Chicago Ill. 60623. Metalead Products Corp., 2901 Park Boulevard, Palo Alto, Calif. 94306.

1 Formerly Metals Disintegrating Company.
- Formerly Compania Minera Asarco, S.A.
3 Formerly The Consolidated Mining & Smelting Co. of Canada, Ltd.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Murdock Lead Company, Box 5298, Dallas, Tex. 75222.
Nalco Chemical Company, 6216 West 66th Place, Chicago, Ill. 60638.
National Lead Company, 111 Broadway, New York City 10006.
Newmont Mining Corporation, 300 Park Avenue, New York City 10022.
North Broken Hill, Ltd., Box 1903R, GPO, Melbourne, Australia.
The L. R. Oatey Company, 4700 West 160th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44135.
Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp., East Alton, Ill.
Ozark Lead Company, Post Office Box 205, Ellington, Mo. 63638.
Pend Oreille Mines & Metals Co., Old National Bank Building, Spokane,

Wash. 99208.
Phelps Dodge Copper Products Corp., 300 Park Avenue, New York City 10022.
Rerere Copper & Brass, Inc., Foil Division, 196 Diamond Street, Brooklyn,

W.Y. 11222.
Revere Smelting & Refining Corp., 387 Avenue P, Newark, N.J. 07105.
St. Joseph Lead Company, 250 Park Avenue, New York City 10017.
Shattuck Denn Mining Corp., 320 Park Avenue, New York City 10022.
Societe Miniere et Metallurgique de Penarroya, 12 Place Vendome, Paris 1, France.
Sunshine Mining Company, Post Office Box 1080, Kellogg. Idaho.
Tsumeb Corporati

Ltd., 300 Park Avenue, New York City 10022.
U.S. Smelting, Refining & Mining Company, Post Office Box 2137, Boston,

Mass. 02106.
The Victory White Metal Company, 6100 Roland Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44127.
Hyman Viener & Sons, Post Office Box 373, Richmond, Va. 23205.
Vulcan Lead Products Company, 1545 West Pierce Street, Milwaukee,

Wis, 33204.
Western Lead Products Company, Post Office Box 1229, City of Industry, Calif.
Willard Lead Products Company, 101 East Griffith Street, Charlotte, N.C, 28203.
The Zinc Corporation, Ltd., Box 384 D. GPO, Melbourne, Australia.

Senator MUSKIE. Do I gather from the last quotation in your statement, the quotation from the Committee on Occupational Toxicology of the Council on Occupational Health of the American Medical Association, that that committee believes that neither high-level nor long continued low-level exposure to lead constitutes a lead hazard?

I think you were here when some of the other witnesses testified. They made a distinction between the kind of high-level exposure that workers in the lead industry are confronted with, and the long-term, low-level exposure of the general public. As to the first—and I am giving my own impression of what their testimony was—there was a feeling that there had been a great deal of study, a great deal of research, which made it possible to control and protect against the results of high-level exposure of this kind leading to clinical poisoning.

But as to low-level exposure, over a long period of time, they felt there was much less certainty as to what the effects were.

This statement that you have quoted at the end of your statement expresses certainty, as I read it, on both counts, as to both kinds of exposure and both kinds of risks. Is that the way you read it?

Mr. WoRMSER. I read it as a very emphatic endorsement of the situation as it stands today that these people who are alarmed, apparently, about the amount of lead that is found in food and air have nothing to worry about, that there is no hazard to the public, the way our society is operating today.

Senator MUSKIE. Then why are some of the trained people who come before this committee, the doctors and others, concerned about it? This leaves us laymen at something of a disadvantage. You come in and

you express certainty that I don't think you can state. I don't

you can find words to state more clearly, that there is absolutely no doubt.

think

Yet we have had doubt expressed and very serious doubt expressed by medical men and experts who have also come before this committee. Which group do we take?

Mr. WORMSER. I am a layman, too, Mr. Chairman.
Senator MUSKIE. You are a scientist, at least, an engineer.

Mr. WORMSER. But not an M.D., sir. We are talking about some very involved medical questions. All I can do, sir, is to rely on the best professional evidence that I can find. I can't find any higher evidence, professionally, then the declaration of the American Medical Association. Here they state it categorically, and I am willing to accept it.

Senator MUSKIE. Are you shaken at all in your acceptance of this certainty by the testimony you heard from these other doctors who are not as certain? I have to form a judgment on this, you know.

Mr. WORMSER. I have lived with the citizenry so long, and I have seen this anxiety arise from time to time. I have seen public health getting better and better, year after year, so I can't get alarmed over it, Mr. Chairman. It is as simple as that, in my explanation. Senator MUSKIE. So you are not alarmed.

Mr. WORMSER. I am not alarmed; no, sir. If I were, sir, I would be frank to say so.

Senator MUSKIE. Senator Boggs?

Senator Boggs. Mr. Wormser, I want to thank you for your contribution. I think it is very good, indeed. I know this committee hopes that as a result of these hearings and exploring this environmental lead problem that we will be making a contribution to a better understanding and certainly any possibility of hazards that maybe have not been uncovered. I think we want to get the whole picture on it. I believe your contribution has been very good, very helpful to me.

I was curious when you mentioned the 3-city study and the 11 cases. I think in your added comments you said there had been a followup of the 11 cases. Have you any more information about that?

Mr. WORMSER. I haven't personally, Senator. As I understand it, these were thoroughly followed up. I think Dr. Kehoe testified on it, sir. I don't know if you were in the room at the time, Senator. However, I do think he cleared that up.

Senator Boggs. If he did, I will get it out of the record. Thank you. Senator MUSKIE. I have just one further question, Mr. Wormser

. I am trying to find the statement in your prepared presentation which I thought I heard to the effect that there were no increases in concentrations of lead in the body. Did I misread that or misunderstand it? Is there such a statement ?

Mr. WORMSER. In the body. I don't think I covered that at all. Senator MUSKIE. You didn't touch

upon

that? Mr. WORMSER. No, sir.

Senator Muskie. It seems that there has been testimony, I think, before this committee, that there is evidence of increases in concentra; tions of lead in the body and in the bones, especially. I wondered whether you had concentrated a focus on that point.

The quotation from WHO which you gave us reads, in partThe study group reported that there has been no increase in lead contamination in the last two decades.

Mr. WORMSER. That is the World Health Organization.
Senator MUSKIE. Further, they said-

« PreviousContinue »