Our recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology showed that lead emissions from piston-driven aircraft can pose a significant health threat to the U.S. These aircraft account for about half of anthropogenic lead emissions in U.S. skies. Our study, the first to assess the nationwide annual costs of IQ losses from aviation lead emissions, estimated that aircraft lead results in about $1 billion in damages from lifetime earnings reductions each year.
See a summary in MIT News here and the original paper here. Lead author of the study is recent PhD Philip Wolfe, and graduate student Amanda Giang is a coauthor. The study was a collaboration between the SelinGroup and Prof. Steven Barrett's group. It was funded by a seed grant from MIT's Center for Environmental Health Sciences.