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Lead poisoning in children

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Lead is one of the most significant ‘silent types’ of poison that has been around for the last 5000 years. Evidence exists that this occupational toxins was very much present in Roman times.

Lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage resulting in lower intelligence quotient levels, hyperactivity, developmental delays and aggression. There is no safety level of lead for children. Lead can be found in contaminated soil, water, old paint, painted surface of pencils and even automobiles in which the kids go to school. Kids generally have a tendency to put their hands into their mouth and there may be a chance of consuming lead albeit unintentionally. Sometimes  snacking in the parks can also lead to lead poisoning.

High quantity of lead is found in the paints on the walls and doors, the playground equipments and batteries used in the toys. Lead has a sweet taste so children generally enjoy chewing onto lead.  Though damage to brain caused by lead cannot be reversed, its level in the blood can be reduced to prevent further damage. Early intervention can help reduce long-term effects.

Lead poisoning in children

Lead gets accumulated in the body, especially in the teeth and bones, and causes serious damage. Lead poisoning can lead to brittleness of bones in kids.

There is no known safe level of lead exposure, however CDC  (USA) has recommended that  lead levels in the blood that are above 10 micrograms per deciliter to be of concern in children. Peer groups would want this level lowered to less than 5 micrograms per deciliter.

Lead poisoning is not new to the world, it  started when industrial lead production started at least 5000 years ago.

Important Facts about Lead

Childhood lead poisoning remains a major environmental health hazard.

Lead exposure can harm not only  young children but also babies even before they are born.

Growing children absorb more lead than adults.

Lead can enter the body through breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint  chips that contain lead.

Brains and nervous systems of children can get damaged  by lead.

Adults can be harmed and lead can affect their reproductive system.

Lead pipes as source of lead – Lead water pipes have been used for centuries because of its flexibility, durability and long life. Lead in drinking water is easily probably absorbed. Adult can absorb almost 35 to 50% of the lead they drink whereas children can absorb greater than 50%.

Children and Lead Poisioning - Buying toys seems to be the easiest way to make your child smile. But these toys may not be safe always as they could harm the brain and for the reproductive system of your child. The reason for this is because of the mineral lead that is used extensively in the manufacturing of some of these toys.. The parks,too maynot be very safe for the kids anymore. Paints on the swing, slides and most playground equipments contain lead which can easily enter a child’s body.

Women should be aware that lipsticks can also contain lead even if it is not listed in its  ingredients. This means that it may harm women''s health too. In one study from the United States more than half of 33 brand-name lipsticks tested  contained detectable levels of lead ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm) and none of  these lipsticks listed lead as an ingredient. In the study among the top brands testing positive for lead were.

L''Oreal Colour Riche "True Red" - 0.65 ppm

L''Oreal Colour Riche "Classic Wine" - 0.58 ppm

Cover Girl Incredi full Lipcolor "Maximum Red" - 0.56 ppm

Dior Addict "Positive Red" - 0.21 ppm

Steps To Minimise Lead Poisoning

Do not allow children to play with painted cheap Chinese toys

Make sure kids wash their hands before eating.

Give children iron- and calcium - rich food

Wash toys, bottles and pacifiers regularly

Keep the house clean

Re-paint surfaces where paint is chipping off

Get the child tested for lead levels in their blood

Check water pipes frequently
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You can actually test your home for lead pretty easily with these: http://www.leadcheck.com They turn pinkish if there's lead present. While you should also get your kids' blood tested, this is a quick and easy way of knowing where there's lead.
Liza72 Wednesday, February 09, 2011

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