Researchers from Mount
Sinai Medical Center analyzed levels of lead in drinking water and soil at 200
toxic waste locations in 31 nations around the globe. The blood levels were
assessed in 779,989 kids who were exposed to toxic lead.
Chatham-Stevens, MD, a pediatric environmental health fellow with the Icahn
School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, conducted a study
for assessing the effects of lead in children living near the toxic waste
discovered that lead levels in the blood circulation was between 1.5 to 104
micrograms lead per deciliter of blood (µg/dL), with an average of 21 µg/dL in
children ages four years and younger.
According to Dr.
Chatham-Stephens this high lead range can result in deprivation of five to
eight IQ points per child and six out of every 1,000 children can suffer from
mental retardation. He mentioned, "The average blood lead level in an
American child is approximately 1.3 µg/dL. Our research found an average predicted
blood lead level of 21 µg/dL, which is very high."
further added, "Lead has serious, long-term health consequences such as the
potential to impair cognitive development in children and cause mental
retardation." Mental retardation is termed as having an IQ below 70.
Philip Landrigan, MD,
MSc, dean for global health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai,
stated, "On a global level, this analysis highlights the importance of
assigning more public health resources to identify, evaluate and remediate
lead-contaminated toxic waste sites in these countries." According to Dr.
Landrigan these nations should adopt stringent steps to harness the detrimental
effects of toxic waste in order to safeguard the neurodevelopment in children
Chatham-Stephens highlighted the significance of the study by saying, "This
study is important because, to our knowledge, the burden of disease from these
toxic waste sites has never been calculated before."
The scientists noted that the kids who were potentially
exposed to injurious toxic waste in lower and middle income nations are likely
to have high percentage of lead in blood levels.