Illness of Using Lead
Lead is a metal that occurs naturally in the earth. It has many industrial uses and is found in trace amounts everywhere in the human environment. When lead gets inside the human body, the body confuses it with calcium and other essential nutrients. This confusion can cause permanent damage to the health of both children and adults.
Lead can be harmful to people of all ages. Recent scientific studies show that negative health effects are occurring even at lower levels of exposure to lead than previously thought. Low-level exposure may have subtle effects on the intellectual development and behavior of infants and children. They are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead because their growing bodies absorb lead more easily and get rid of it less efficiently than adults. Also, infants and young children are more likely to ingest lead because of their normal habit of putting things in their mouths. In adults, the strongest scientific evidence to date suggests low levels of lead exposure may cause a small increase in blood pressure.
Ongoing exposure to even small amounts of lead may eventually result in harmful levels in the body. Once lead is absorbed into your blood, it is either eliminated from your body (mostly in urine) or builds up in your bones. It can remain stored in your body for over 30 years. Health effects associated with exposure to high levels of lead include vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma or even death.
Sources of lead exposure
For infants and children, the main sources are:
• Food and drinking water
• Household dust
• Handling of products containing lead – For example- toys made up with leaded pigments.
Harmful effects of ‘Lead’ in toys.
The children and infants provided with leaded toys, during their play and after the play time keep their hands at their mouth and nose and swallow or inhale lead particles.
“Lead is a developmental toxicant” and the “harmful effects of lead on children’s development can occur without signs or symptoms.”
In children, lead is most damaging when they are six years and younger. Children are growing at a very fast rate – growing bones, developing stronger muscles and creating many connections in their brain. When lead instead of essential nutrients is “available” to the body to make bones, muscle, and brain connections, permanent harm to health can occur. Even at low levels, lead can be harmful and be associated with:
• Learning disabilities resulting in a decreased intelligence (IQ)
• Attention deficit disorder
• Behavior issues
• Nervous system damage
• Speech and language impairment
• Decreased muscle growth
• Decreased bone growth
• Kidney damage
High levels of lead are life threatening and can cause seizures, unconsciousness, and death. Children are most at risk for lead injuries because their bodies are still developing and because they tend to put things that may have lead dust on it in their mouths. Here’s more:
Children are still developing
Until about age 6, young children do not have a fully developed “blood brain barrier.” The blood brain barrier is the body’s way of keeping harmful chemicals out of the brain, but it is not fully formed at birth and takes up to about six years to be fully protective. Without the blood brain barrier, the effects of lead are even more devastating. For more information about the blood brain barrier, see the resource links below.
Lead exposure is a concern for adults, even though they have finished growing. Since an adult’s body is much larger than a child’s body, more lead is needed to cause injury but the harm lead can do to an adult is very serious. High levels of lead can cause:
• Increased chance of illness during pregnancy
• Harm to a fetus, including brain damage or death
• Fertility problems in both men and women
• High blood pressure
• Digestive issues
• Nerve disorders
• Memory and concentration problems
• Muscle and joint pain
Ankidyne social responsibility through Lead free toys.
Ankidyne, being one of the leading indoor playground equipments suppliers, provides high quality, non-toxic, lead free toys for children. Ankidyne’s social responsibility and concern for the well being of its customers, bind them to create awareness among all about the ill effects of lead presence in toys. Buying shiny toys with lead at low cost is not at all advisable. Ensure testing of toys to ensure absence of lead. There are kits available in the market for quick testing of lead presence in any object. Let us welcome happy play time and healthy play time.