1 in 3 children are poisoned by lead globally
Key words: Children, Lead poisoning, Risk, Measures
According to the UNICEF report of 30 July 2020, often unwittingly and with life-altering consequences, children are growing up in harm’s way, inhaling dust and fumes from unregulated used lead-acid battery recycling operations and open-air smelters, eating food contaminated by lead-glazed pottery and lead-infused spices, living in homes with peeling lead paint, playing with lead-covered toys, drinking lead contaminated water and even working in lead-laced electronic waste dumps. The list goes on.
Childhood lead exposure can lead to lower IQ levels, behavioral issues and increased risk of kidney damage and cardiovascular diseases in later life.
UNICEF and Pure Earth are calling for urgent action including stronger environmental, health and safety legislation, and investment in health services to monitor, test and treat children’s exposure to lead.
Lead is silently seeping into children’s bodies through unregulated lead-acid battery recycling operations, electronic waste dumps, pottery, spices, paint, toys and drinking water. It is recommended that countries that currently use lead pipes replace other pipes that are not harmful to children’s health. In addition, regulate the recycling of vehicle batteries in low- and middle-income countries to tackle the illegal and unsafe recycling of lead-acid batteries. Parents keep children away from toys and crockery that contain lead.