How Dan­ger­ous Is It?

Consumer Voice - - Report -

Ev­i­dence of re­duced in­tel­li­gence caused by child­hood ex­po­sure to lead has led the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) to list ‘lead-caused men­tal re­tar­da­tion’ as a rec­og­nized dis­ease. WHO also lists it as one of the top 10 dis­eases caused by en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors that bur­den chil­dren’s health. WHO says: “Lead has no es­sen­tial role in the hu­man body and lead poi­son­ing ac­counts for about 0.6 per cent of the global bur­den of dis­ease.”

Chil­dren are ex­posed to lead from paint when de­te­ri­o­rat­ing paint on walls, win­dows, doors, or other painted sur­faces be­gins to chip or de­te­ri­o­rate and lead is re­leased into dust and soil. When a sur­face pre­vi­ously painted with lead paint is sanded or scraped in prepa­ra­tion for re­paint­ing, very large amounts of lead-con­tam­i­nated dusts are pro­duced and these con­sti­tute a se­vere health haz­ard. Chil­dren play­ing in­doors or out­doors get house dust or soil on their hands, and then in­gest it through nor­mal hand-to-mouth be­hav­iour. If the house dust or the soil is con­tam­i­nated with lead, the chil­dren in­gest lead. Hand-to-mouth be­hav­iour is es­pe­cially preva­lent in chil­dren aged six years and un­der – also

Ac­cord­ing to WHO, there is no known safe level of ex­po­sure to lead. Lead-ex­po­sure im­pacts on chil­dren con­tinue through­out life and have a long-term im­pact on a child’s work per­for­mance.

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