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LEAD POISONING IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS, PROBLEM AND REMEDY: AN OVERVIEW

Surendra Dutt Sharma, Charu Sharma

Abstract


Lead poisoning, is now, considered the most preventable public health problem. Childhood lead exposure produces psychosocial and cognitive morbidity and its neurological and behavioral consequences are, now, well known. In this paper, many of the overt multi systematic effects of moderate to high levels of lead exposure are discussed. However, the current low blood lead levels (BLLs) in children are associated with neurodevelopmental deficits. Environmental lead exposure in children with maximum BLLs even below 7.5 g/dL is associated with intellectual deficits and as such no level of lead exposure appears to be safe. A correlation between developmental exposure to lead and adult criminal behavior has been established. Further, the estimates of the social and economic benefits of ‘lead hazard control’ suggest that the high cost of reducing lead exposure in the society is a retarding factor in combating the problem.
Inspite of the legislative efforts and some other preventive measures, the best hope of mitigating the impact of lead toxicity in children is the primary prevention of exposure to lead. Some remedial measures are suggested for the same.

Keywords: Lead poisoning, Children and Adolescents, Environmental poison, Health hazard, Remedial measures

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