A third of world’s children are poisoned by lead, says UNICEF report

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News: United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) and non-profit Pure Earth has released a report titled “The Toxic Truth: Children’s exposure to lead pollution”.

Facts:

Key Takeaways:

  • Around 1 in 3 children have blood lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL),the level at which requires action.Nearly half of these children live in South Asia.

Additional Facts:

  • Lead: It is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust.While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals causing health effects.
  • Uses: Lead has been used in a wide variety of products found in and around our homes, including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, gasoline, batteries, ammunition and cosmetics.
    • Sindoor (vermillion), a traditional cosmetic powder used by women in the Indian subcontinent and Ghasard, an Indian folk medicine in the form of a brown powder used as a tonic also contains lead.
  • Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint: It is a cooperative initiative jointly led by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to prevent children’s exposure to lead from paints containing lead and to minimize occupational exposures to lead paint.