High Risk Areas and Communities in US for Lead Poisoning in Children
Lead poisoning is far from being a thing of the past in the United States. Every year there are more than 3 million children who are affected by this metal. However over the years there have been steps and actions taken to help reduce the number of those getting affective. This article outlines some of the ways in which your child could be affected by lead, the hazards of lead poisoning and the communities that are the most affected.
Lead poisoning in children
The effects of a child poisoned by lead are far greater than that of an adult. The bodies of children absorb lead faster than adults and this makes them very vulnerable to the metal. Therefore the utmost care needs to be taken to ensure that children are kept away from any such hazards. Lead poisoning can occur by ingesting of an object that contains lead or by inhaling it, i.e. lead dust. Below is a list of the things that you should watch out for to prevent your child from lead poisoning.
Lead in Decorations and toys made from countries like China
Lead in Old house paint (paint prior to 1987)
Lead in Furniture and toys that have been painted before 1976
Lead in Faucets, pipes and the plumbing
Lead in Bullets made of lead and even curtain weights
Lead in Mini blinds made of plastic
Lead in Contaminated soil
Lead in Drinking Water
Lead in Batteries
Lead in Dinnerware and pitchers made of pewter
Lead in Art supplies that have lead content
Lead in Hobbies like jewelry making, glazing of pottery, stained glass etc.
The effects and symptoms of lead poisoning in children
Lead poisoning can cause irreversible damage to a child’s body both mentally and physically. It also has irreparable effects on the nervous system. If your child is suffering from lead poisoning, here are the symptoms that you will be faced with:
- Possible learning disabilities and / or mental retardation
- Tendency of being antisocial
- No control over certain muscles in the body
- Problems with the stomach like diarrhoea, nausea and maybe even constipation
- Seizures and low energy levels
Communities most affected by lead
Lead poisoning in children is also largely due to occupational hazards of their parents. There are certain communities whose children are more exposed to lead than others might be. Here are a few examples of those communities.
The lead industry: It goes without saying that workers from the lead industry, dealing with any sort of component that contains lead provides the highest risk of poisoning. These workers take home lead dust on their shoes, clothing etc that is then inhaled by members of their families especially children.
Pluming and painting industry: Workers involved in the plumbing, welding and painting industry also expose their families to high levels of lead as they are constantly dealing with components that have high levels of lead.
The ceramic industry: A survey carried out on workers of a factory that produced capacitors coated with ceramic that contained lead showed that 20 out of 31 of they children were found with high lead levels in their blood.
The furniture industry: Although all the processes involved in the chemical stripping and refinishing of furniture are said to be lead free, reports have found that 50% of the workers with children between the age of 4 months and 18 months have high lead levels in their blood.
The construction industry: Children of construction workers are highly affected by lead poisoning as well. This occurs through the inhalation lead dust that is a part of their parents clothing, shoes etc.