According to a new report from Pure Earth and UNICEF, 800 million children globally are exposed to the element- lead. They are dangerously exposed to the high lead values in their blood, which can prevent their growth and brain development. A child’s early years are decisive for the development of body parts, so they are most vulnerable to harmful substances present around them. The exposure of lead to pregnant women may result in an undeveloped child. Infants when exposed to the element may reduce his or her potential for development.
Lead is an element, but it is also a neurotoxin that can cause damage to the body, even at minimal levels its exposure can be acute and can result in brain damage, coma, and even death.
The most vulnerable sections affected by it are the low and middle-income countries where lead once released in the environment is left untreated for an unpredictable period. The majority of the Lead comes from lead-acid batteries, which are not properly recycled. The increased number of vehicles in the last 20 years in low and middle-income countries is creating social differences- have been an addition to the already existing issue.
Lead also comes from water pipes, canned food, contaminated spices, paint, make-up, toys, etc. which can cause lead poisoning slowly, as lead accumulates and stays for an elongated period. High values can attack blood, bone marrow, nervous system, and kidneys. It can also cause lower IQ and behavioral change that can last lifelong.
Lead being global health and environmental concern can be projected as a cause of enormous income loss, as children growing with such harmful substances are having a negative impact on the body and brain which are making them unable to contribute to the national income.
Written by Khusbhu Mathur