Survey shows high lead content in kids' blood

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Bangalore, Feb 4 (UNI) National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India (NRCLPI) said in its latest survey that more than 51 per cent of Indians from metros and younger than 12 years were found having more than 10 microgram of lead per decilitre of blood, portending huge negative economic implications in the years to come.

Titled ''Lead poisoning -a Preventible Hazardous Commodity,'' the survey presented at a National Seminar on Hazardous Materials Management here today said the younger population was at a greater risk with chances of irreversible damage to their intellectual abilities.

The ill-effects of lead poisoning were grastrointestinal disorder, anemia, cancer, kidney damage and heart problems.

With 1.136 billion people, comprising a sixth of world population, India is at higher risk from lead posioning from many sources, it said.

Almost 80 per cent of all the lead now used in many parts of the world is from production of lead-acid batteries. In India, more than one lakh visitors are exposed through religious ceremonies and festivals on daily basis to high amount of lead, with most of them being children.

As much as 91 per cent of paints produced in India contained lead, which affects children living in the metro cities. Even traditional Ayurvedic medicines had a high dose of the metal.

The survey said the final solution to the developing countries like India is through creation of lead map of cities indicating areas of lead-related activities through the data bank.

This will prevent chances of children exposed to high risk zones with adequate precautions. The paper was presented by Dr Thuppil Venkatesh of NRCLPI.

UNI SIV GM PY HS1510

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