How much lead does it take to ruin a brain? Not much, according to a new standard proposed for lead poisoning in children.
The amount of lead in a child's blood that determines dangerous lead exposure should be cut in half, from the current standard of 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood to 5 micrograms for ages 5 and below, a federal advisory committee said Wednesday.
That in itself would be a big step, and would double the number of young children in the United States officially considered to have lead poisoning to almost 500,000.
It's time now for your letters and, first, one correction. Yesterday, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann dropped out of the Republican presidential nominating contest, and in our story about her failed bid for the White House, some of you heard our reporter call political analyst Lawrence Jacobs, Lawrence Jacobson. It's our mistake and we apologize to Mr. Jacobs.
Thursday, the Pentagon announced its new strategy for dealing with threats around the world. The goal is to use the new blueprint to guide difficult budget choices in the coming years. The new document is released as the U.S. winds down two long wars — in Iraq and Afghanistan — and embarks on a period of defense budget cuts.
For lovers of Camembert, the downy white rind is the tart bite that balances out the fat-laden, oozing, pungent layer inside.
For a group of Swiss bioengineers, that moldy rind is one of nature's greatest living surfaces, doing double duty as a shield and a cleaner. The rind allows the cheese's deep flavor and aroma to mature, but also defends it against microorganisms that could spoil it. The cheese repays the fungi on the rind by supplying it with nutrients.