A report from Pure Earth and UNICEF indicates that as many as 800 million children have high levels of lead in their blood. Lead is a neurotoxin that can be damaging even at low levels. Lead poisoning can cause anaemia, and higher levels can negatively effect blood, bone marrow, the nervous system, kidneys and the brain. Children in lower-income areas, especially in South Asia, are particularly vulnerable. The lead can come from batteries, water pipes, paint, canned foods, and toys. The WHO and the CDC both believe the situation requires international action.
- As many as 800 million children have dangerously high lead values in their blood.
- Lead poisoning can be acute, and can cause everything from stomach pain to brain damage, coma and death.
- Lead poisoning can also contribute to a lower IQ and behavioural problems that can last a lifetime.
“High lead levels can attack blood and bone marrow, the nervous system and the kidneys.”