One Third Of World’s Children Have High Lead Levels, At Risk Of Development Challenges, UNICEF Study Warns
New York Times: One in Three Children Have Unacceptably High Lead Levels, Study Says
“Lead contamination has long been recognized as a health hazard, particularly for the young. But a new study asserts that the extent of the problem is far bigger than previously thought, with one in three children worldwide — about 800 million in all — threatened by unacceptably high lead levels in their blood. The ubiquity of lead — in dust and fumes from smelters and fires, vehicle batteries, old peeling paint, old water pipes, electronics junkyards, and even cosmetics and lead-infused spices — represents an enormous and understated risk to the mental and physical development of a generation of children, according to the study, released late Wednesday…” (Gladstone, 7/29).
U.N. News: Revealed: A third of world’s children poisoned by lead, UNICEF analysis finds
“The report, the first of its kind, says that around 1 in 3 children — up to 800 million globally — have blood lead levels at, or above, 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the amount at which action is required. Nearly half of these children live in South Asia. ‘With few early symptoms, lead silently wreaks havoc on children’s health and development, with possibly fatal consequences,’ UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore warned. ‘Knowing how widespread lead pollution is — and understanding the destruction it causes to individual lives and communities — must inspire urgent action to protect children once and for all’…” (7/30).
Additional coverage of the UNICEF report is available from The Telegraph.