Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 639–646 | Cite as

Protective values for soil lead with respect to child health: a critique of UK guidelines

  • Brian E. Davies
Original Paper


In 2002, The (UK) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) together with the Environment Agency published document SGV10 “Contaminants in soil: collation of toxicological data and intake values for humans. Lead”. This publication sets out the derivation of Soil Guideline Values for lead contamination. Values for soil lead that are protective of the health of children and also for adults are derived using the model recommended by an international task force working under the auspices of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH) (Wixson and Davies 1993, 1994). Detailed examination of the DEFRA publication shows it uses unrealistic values for two variables in the SEGH model. The consequence is both actual and has potential adverse societal impacts. These impacts could be avoided if the appropriate scientific community were regarded as stakeholders in the legislative outcome and not simply the providers of the research data.


Adults Blood Children Lead Regulation Soil UK 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clemson UniversityAndersonUSA

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