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The Effects Of Lead Poison On Children

2547 words - 11 pages

Throughout the world today one out of every six children under the age of six are suffering from health disorders due to a poisonous metal known as lead(Kiwanis, 1996). Lead is a natural occurring bluish-grey metal found in the earth's crust. It has no taste or smell. Lead can easily be found in all parts of our environment today. Most of it comes from mining, manufacturing, and last but not least the burning of fossil fuels(Xintaras, 1993). In the United States lead poison has increased because of the lack of knowledge in our society.(Background information on the effect's lead poison has on children)Lead is released into the environment by industries, the burning of fossil fuels or wastes. ...view middle of the document...

There are many other ways that a child especially under the age of six can be diagnosed to lead poison besides air pollution. One of the most common ways of our past is when a child eats or chews on an object that has lead based paint chips in or on its surface. Parents can easily prevent this from happening by reading labels or buying objects which are not painted. Another way in a child can be affected is by drinking water that comes from lead pipes. Houses built prior to 1978 have been found very unsafe due to the older pipes(Verstraaten, 1997). These pipes can be easily replaced in most situations. This process may be expensive but it pays off dearly when it comes to your family, and never let your child drink from a water fountain or a water hose that you are not sure is safe(Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home, 1994). The build up of lead in the soils another problem. Bare soil can easily contain lead from car exhaust, paint peeling, and near by industries pollution. The easiest way to prevent this is by not letting you child play on bare soil or cover the soil before letting the child play in the area(Handout IIa: Activities to Reduce Environmental Exposure, 1997). Breathing workplace air has been a problem in past also. When parents are not aware of the near by power plants or industries, which could be letting off lead into the air. It can lead to problems. So its always best that you know the area really well that you child is playing in. Another incident that occurred here recently in North Carolina was a young child was discovered having lead poison after eating some pool-cue chalk. Researchers here found the cue chalk could actually be a source of environmental lead(Modica 1996). There are many effects or symptom that lead poison can have on a child if diagnosed at an early age. These injuries our so severe because the body and the brain are not fully developed, which can leave children with subtle but irreversible injuries that does not appear until many years after the exposure of lead(Monheit, 1). In young children, lead retards the development of the central nervous system and brain. Lower levels of lead can reduce their IQ, reading and learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and behavior problems. When these are added up it causes the student to become a dropout from school and a negative contribution to our communities(Monheit, 1996).The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (CDC) have found that these injuries occur when blood levels rise to a mere 10 Micrograms per deciliter of whole blood. Lead poisoning is treatable in the early stages due to the great amount of investigation that the medical and environmental fields have put forth, but the damage that the lead does in a child's body is not treatable, so once the lead has been damaged, its permanent (Monheit, 1996). The CDC also asks parents to make sure that their child receives a blood-lead test at each pediatric checkup...

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