Lead poisoning threatens immigrant children in US

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Washington, Dec 27 (UNI) Immigrant children, especially from Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico are more likely to suffer from lead poisoning than their US counterparts, a recent study said.

In the Health Department study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, it was found that immigrant children face five times more risk than the US-born children and the risk is highest among the most recent immigrants.

Lead-based paint is the primary cause of lead poisoning for both US and foreign-born children in New York City, the Science Daily reported.

Expressing concern over the situation, Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Health and co-author of the study, Jessica Leighton said, ''This study suggests that immigrant children are being exposed to lead in their home countries before they arrive in New York City. And some immigrant families may be bringing tainted products with them.'' ''We encourage all parents, especially parents who are recent immigrants, to be sure their children are tested for lead poisoning at ages one and two, as required by law,'' she added.

Lead is a toxic metal which may damage brain, nervous system, kidneys and reproductive system. It can also lead to learning and behavior problems in young children.

To prevent lead poisoning among immigrant children, the Health Department is distributing educational materials in multiple languages to help immigrant parents reduce children's exposure to lead.


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