Household dust in Delhi high in Lead content: Study

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New Delhi, June 3 (UNI) Household dust in Delhi has alarmingly an high level of lead which poses serious health implications especially for children who ingest the dust while playing, according to a study.

The study-- Dusty Toxics: A Study on Lead in Household Dust in Delhi'' by Toxics Link-- indicates that there are sources of lead, such as paints, which could be contributing to these levels as metal in petrol has been removed since 2000.

''It is not unlikely that the situation is similar in other cities in the country,'' it adds.

Addressing a press conference Toxics Link Director Ravi Agarwal said over 57 households, all over the city, were sampled for lead level in floor and widowsill dust and 31 per cent of the samples of floor dust tested contained levels of lead that would be considered hazardous by the US EPA.

Fourteen per cent of the samples of windowsill dust tested contained levels of lead-- a heavy metal, highly toxic, which reduces intelligence for life-- especially in children, that would be considered hazardous by the US EPA.

''Toxics Link thinks that the problem of high levels of lead in house dust is not unique to Delhi, but is common to other cities in India. More study is needed to confirm this and immediate action should be taken,'' he observed.

''After removing lead from petrol it is now time to remove lead from all interior and exterior household paints,'' he added.

He said India must legislate the removal of lead from products -- paints and toys-- to ensure a healthy future generation, unaffected by this dangerous heavy metal.

''It is time the industry stops quibbling and takes immediate action since the issue is more than half a century old, and such products are not permitted in developed countries. Do we want a future generation which has a compromised intelligence?'' he said.

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