High levels of toxic lead in household dust in Delhi

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Kolkata, Jun 4 (UNI) Alarmingly high levels of the toxic metal lead in household dust in the urban residential areas throughout the country could have serious implications on people, especially children.

''The Toxics Link'', an NGO working for a toxics-free world, conducted a research recently in several residential areas of Delhi under which over 57 households, all over the city, were sampled for lead levels in floor and window sill dust.

The findings revealed that 31 per cent of the samples of floor dust and 14 per cent of the samples of window sill dust tested contained levels of lead that would be considered hazardous by the US EPA.

The Toxics Link also expressed surprise at the findings, as lead in petrol had been banned since 2000, indicating that there were other sources of lead, including paints, which could be contributing to the high levels.

Expressing concern over the situation, Toxics Link Director Ravi Agarwal said, ''The problem of high levels of lead in household dust is not unique to Delhi, but is prevalent in other cities of the country as well. More research is needed to confirm this and immediate action should be taken.'' He advocated that besides the use of unleaded petrol, it should also be ensured that all traces of lead should be removed from all interior and exterior household paints.

''The government must legislate the removal of lead from all products, including paints and toys, to ensure a healthy future generation, unaffected by this dangerous heavy metal,'' he said.

The recent study was the fifth in the series from 'Toxics Link' on the presence of heavy metals such as lead and mercury in immediate vicinity.

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