USAGE OF LEAD: Lead is bluish grey metal cheaply available. It is widely used in various manufacturing. 91% of the paints manufactured in India are lead based paints. Lead is essentially strong pigment and packs in Qualities such as durability, easy drying, corrosion, resistance making it a very suitable additive in paints. Apart from paints, lead is widely used in a wide range of products like water pipes, cable covers, weights and ammunition. It is also used in some of the ayurvedic medicines as well as printing inks. Because of leads pigmentation and weight adding qualities it has been found to be used as an adulterating substance in various food products like Sambhar powder, masala mix powders, turmeric powder etc. Lead is most widely used in storage batteries amounting to as much as 90%.
SOURCE OF LEAD: The lead is not from primary source as well as secondary source. Primary source comes directly from the ore, while secondary sources comes by lead recycling units. Roughly 33% of the demand for the lead met from secondary sources.
WHERE DOES LEAD DEPOSITS IN THE BODY: Lead is persistent and doesn't degrade in the body. On entering the body it get stored in bones, teeth, nails and hair. It stays in the blood in 21 days and in the bones for 30 to 35 years.
HOW LEAD ENTERS THE HUMAN BODY IN DIFFERENT WAYS: Unfortunately one of the most pervasive and toxin of all environmental contaminants. The most vulnerable sections affected by lead contamination are infants, children, pregnant women and finally in general all public. Lead enters the body through inhalation and continuous exposure in work places, besides consumption of lead contaminated substances like adulterated masala mixes, turmeric power, sambar powders etc. some Ayurvedic medicines manufactured with lead using news paper to wrap eatables, where the lead in the printed ink leaches on to food item. Contaminated water is one more serious source of lead pollution. This is exclusively the case where backyard recycling near water bodies.
HOW LEAD AFFECTS THE CHILDREN HEALTH WAYS: Lead poisoning is the most serious environment health threats to children. Even blood lead levels as low on 10 ug/dl can cause adverse effects in children, causes kidney damage, reduces 10 levels and damage to the central nervous system. The effects may lead ever to death in extreme cases, depending upon the extent and duration exposure. Toxicity is the degree to which a substance is able to damage an exposed organism. Children under the age of 6 are more vulnerable to lead poisoning. Developing children are sensitive to even small amount of lead, which reduces the learning ability, Causes brain damage, hyper active behaviour, neurological problems, attention deficit disorders, major organ failure, or in extreme cases even death, depending upon the extent and duration of exposure such children are especially infants. In the poorest regions of the world an estimated one in 5 children will not live to see their fifth birthday. Primarily because of environmental related diseases. Effects of lead on health which include damage to the brain and nervous system in children upto age 4, impaired growth and intelligence quotient, social and behavioural problems, poor hearing and learning difficulties, hyperactive and aggressiveness in children. Eye liners such as Kajal, Surma. Kohis used during traditional customs and applied to most infants, are easily lead absorbed by the eyes. In the case of fashion jewellery for children, again it is observed excess lead is used than permissible 600 ppm, which is internationally accepted limit, because of hand to mouth excess activity obsorption will be more.
HOW LEAD AFFECTS LADIES HEALTH: The risk run by youngsters keen on beautifying themselves is really shocking. The high percentage of presence than health permissible limits of lead in facial cosmetics and cosmetic jewellary, either branded or unbranded, sold all over the country. They cause eyes irritation, eye infections, allergies, attention deficit disorders, and inability to concentrate are some of the adverse effects. Presence of lead leads to reduced fertility, hormonal change and menstrual irregularities among pregnant women. Almost more than 30 cosmetic samples like lipstics, eyeliners finger rings, bracelets, bangles etc were found excess lead content. The lead content permitted in advanced countries is restricted to 0.1 part per million while the Bureau of Indian Standards permits 10 ppm. Surprisingly it is noticed that some branded items actually exceeded the unbranded items in lead content. High lead levels during pregnancy can result in miss carriage, still births while the transplacental transport of lead can damage the central nervous system of foetus.
HOW LEAD AFFECTS WORKERS HEALTH: Occupationally exposed workers are more susceptible to the effects of absorbed lead.
HOW LEAD AFFECTS HEALTH OF ADULTS: Disastrous effects of lead on adults health are unlimited. Lead causes loss of libido, infertility, aggressiveness and hypertension, loss of appetite, constipation, anemia, paralysis, fits, swelling of the brain, seizures, coma and in extreme cases even death.
HOW TO EFFECTIVELY CONTROL THE DISASTROUS EFFECTS OF LEAD: Manufacturers of various products must use the lead compulsorily with in the specified quantities of lead in their products. Consumers must be aware of dangerous effects of lead used products and be cautious in purchasing, preserving and using them with awareness. They must be extremely cautious while using such products for infants, children and for pregnant woman. Advanced caution like USA have come up with regulations to limit the use of lead in paints, as paints are a major source of lead pollution. Lead harmful effects can be reduced by substituting it with plastics in building constructions. Besides plastics, alluminium, iron and tin are used in place of lead for packaging and protective coatings. Tin is now used for soldering in of potable water system in USA. In the electronics industry, tin, bismuth, silver and copper are used for soldering instead of lead. More stringent regulations need to be made to check leads presence in products that causes directly in contact with the end users as in paints and printing ink, make up materials etc. Use of lead in Ayurvedic medicines should be banned as this has a direct effect on the human body system. Lead used medicines leads to lower IQ levels, causes hyperactivity amongst children. Awareness is the infinite treasure. Ever BE AWARE, BE ALERT AND EVER BE AHEAD.