Beware of Lead Poisoning
Getting rid of lead
Beware of Lead Poisoning! This warning reverberates in my ears since my childhood days. Little did I know that my favorite shiny ceramic plate contains traces of lead because of its polishing. Did I experience symptoms of lead poisoning? Or I may ask, did you own ceramic plates and are you heating and cooking your food into it? Do you still accept or give coffee mugs as gift to your friends or giveaways from the store? Are you as innocent as me or did we just forget the dangers of using these china wares?
Just last year, many countries and its government immediately recall some commercial products like children’s toys and jewelries.. It is because they discovered that there are many lead contaminants in these products, and children have tendency to swallow it or sip their toys while playing. Toddlers aging two to three years old or not more than six years old can be poisoned by lead , because their nervous system is just beginning to develop.
Children who are suffering from lead poisoning experience stomach pains, aggressiveness, anemic, having hard time to focus, suffer constipation, easy to get tired, headaches, slow learners, weak, loss of appetite and slow growth.
Based from the recent study by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, lead prevents certain kind of protein which is responsible for brain development and learning. Studies show that more than 50 per cent of lead contents are eaten or inhaled by children that contaminate their blood, while 10 to 15 per cent for adults.
The National Safety Council of the United States of America said that included in the ill effects of lead poisoning are attention deficit-disorder, abnormal character, hearing impairment and kidney trouble. Pregnant women are always cautioned by their doctors or midwives to avoid exposure to things or products that contain lead.
People in Asia and Latin America usually use plates made from clay or even jugs or jars for water storage. Lead glazing makes the clay products look polished. Children in Mexico City have high level or lead contamination in the blood due to the food being cooked in ceramic ware. Lead will mix with the food or fruits heated or put in a ceramic plate or tray.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there are about 100 nations who are using leaded gas in their vehicles. Lead is not burnt, even its particles separate. Emissions from motorcycles, cars and public transport or buses can mix with dust and be carried by the people to their homes. Progressive nations are using unleaded gas nowadays. Here in the Philippines, machines of every kind of vehicles are being converted to accept unleaded gasoline as fuel. Other alternative is the ethanol, liquefied petroleum gas as fuel for taxi cabs.
Dangers of Paints and Water Pipes
Who says that paints are harmless? No, it’s extremely dangerous if it has lead content. In USA alone, there are about 38 million houses -40 per cent of all the houses- were painted with lead-based paints. The worn out paint and its lead dusts can affect the health of the occupants of the house. Water-based paints are now being used instead of lead-based paints.
Residents of old cities and houses with water pipelines that are made of lead or bronze alloy are also in danger of lead poisoning. So, it is a must to open the faucet for 30 seconds to 1 minute and let the tap water running before drinking its water. It is not advisable to use the hot water from it when preparing the milk formula for the baby.
It is a must to see a doctor to check the level of lead contamination through blood testing.
Aside from the rampant abuses of our environment through man-made pollution, everybody should be aware with the dangers of lead poisoning.
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