Hazardous substances in the environment: how to get rid of lead

  • Hazardous substances in the environment: how to get rid of lead

    Lead poisoning caused by the dropping of lead-based paint fragments into the mouth led to the fact that in 1978 the US government banned the use of lead paint. In houses built after 1980, all painting work, according to the law, should have been done using lead-free paint. Therefore, the problem must be solved. However, everything is different. The symptoms of lead poisoning have been known for a long time, but recent studies have shown that even a sufficiently low level of lead in a child's blood can cause some developmental delay and behavior problems or even cause damage to the brain. Today, lead is called a "silent killer."

    is dangerous. This toxic substance enters the bloodstream, and the body, mistaking it for calcium, allows it to vital cells, such as the bone marrow, brain and kidney

    cells, where lead prevents the enzymes required for normal operationthese bodies. In case of lead poisoning the following symptoms are observed:

    • spasmodic pain in the abdomen( as in colic);

    • constipation, decreased appetite;

    • increased irritability;

    • pallor caused by a decrease in hemoglobin;

    • growth retardation;

    • development delay;

    • inability to hold attention for a long time;

    • seizures.

    As lead enters the body

    Children are poisoned by lead, not because they chew pencils. For the production of pencils, a lead-free paint is used, and the rod is just an inoffensive graphite. Lead, which causes poisoning in children, is taken from old paint, petrol vapors, contaminated soil and water, and also from lead-containing dishes.

    How to get rid of lead

    Find out if there are any sources of lead around your child, and follow our recommendations how to reduce the risk. Please also note that children who do not receive enough iron, calcium and zinc are more vulnerable to lead poisoning, which is further evidence that nutrition is a good prevention. Shards of old paint. Despite the fact that houses and apartments built after 1980 should, according to the law, be painted with lead-free paint, in old houses and houses in which major repairs were carried out, a new paint may lie on top of the old one. Pieces of crumbling paint containing some old are very appetizing for a child who likes to pull any small pieces into his mouth. Even more toxic is lead dust, formed from friction of painted surfaces in places such as window sills, door jambs and central heating batteries. A piece of lead paint the size of a postage stamp can contain ten thousand times the allowable amount if the child eats it. Curious childish hands are fumbling around the edge of the windowsill, collecting toxic lead dust, and then the child licking it off his fingers. And getting into the body at least a few such dust particles or a small piece of paint every day throughout the entire childhood can lead to lead poisoning. To remove dust from old paint from window sills and other

    places undergoing severe friction, wipe these surfaces with a high phosphate detergent.

    Repair. If you are repairing an old house, make sure that the contractor knows how to completely get rid of all the remnants of the old paint. In addition, keep the child away from home while removing the old paint. After the repair, rent a HEPA vacuum cleaner( high efficiency particulate accumulator), equipped with a microstatic filter on the output, to remove from the room all, even the smallest, dust from lead paint. Pay special attention to the old balconies that never leave small curious hands without a lot of small flakes of paint and lead dust.

    Contaminated water. If you drink water from a well or live in an old house in which water pipes could be soldered with lead, check your water in a laboratory licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency or in your local water supply department if it provides such services.

    If the water from your tap contains too much lead, besides replacing the water pipes, if possible, use cold water for cooking

    ( hot water flushes more lead from the pipes), use water for drinking and cooking water from bottles and get a water filter that reliably removes lead.

    The water that flows out of the tap when you open it in the early morning has the highest concentration of lead. It is useful to know, because many parents prepare a stock of infant formula for the whole day in the morning. If your pipes cause suspicion or if you find out that the water from your tap has too high a lead content, drain the cold water for at least two minutes to rinse the pipes before you tap the water to make the infant formula.

    Contaminated air. If you live downwind from large highways or highways, check your child's blood levels at least twice a year if relocation is not possible.

    Contaminated soil. Do not allow your child to take land into his mouth, especially if you live in a new block built on the site of destroyed old houses.

    Other sources and precautions. Former ink used to contain lead, but modern does not contain and is recognized as harmless, so parents need not worry if the child is at Safe and slightly harmful substances, usually found at home

    If the child accidentally swallowed one of the following, the treatment is usuallynot required. Caution: this list only serves as a guide. For more information, contact your pediatrician or call an ambulance.

    antacid preparations( reducing gastric acidity);

    antibiotics( if only three or four tablets or teaspoons);

    aromatic oils;

    bath oil;

    bath soap;


    vitamins with or without fluorine;


    deodorants, deodorants;

    baby shampoo and lotion;

    putty or putty;

    game dough;


    glue, paste;

    the conditioner for linen;


    cat litter;


    shaving cream;

    lysol( disinfectant);

    lotion with calamine;

    lotions and hand creams;




    zinc oxide;

    mouthwashes, tooth elixirs4;

    oral contraceptives;

    air freshener;

    bag with silica gel( embedded in boxes with shoes);

    bath foam:

    pistons( for toy guns);


    sweeteners or sugar substitutes;

    mercury from a broken thermometer;






    pencil rod;

    tablets regulating the function of the thyroid gland;

    eye shadow, contour pencils, etc.;


    ink( markers and pens);


    Iron and fluoride in vitamin complexes can be toxic when taken in high doses.

    2 For the most part, cosmetics are harmless. However, hair straighteners and nail polish are extremely dangerous. Even inhaling vapors of nail polish during its application can be dangerous for the child.

    3 Most household detergents, cleaning agents and dishwashing detergents are non-toxic. However, chlorine, ammonia and sanitary facilities for processing children's pots, as well as pellets and liquid detergents for automatic dishwashers, are very poisonous.

    4 Rinser for the mouth contains a lot of alcohol, and therefore can bring harm to a child if he swallows a large amount.

    5Although one cigarette theoretically contains enough nicotine to kill a horse, the swallowed tobacco is not so easily digested by the intestine. Very often the child tears, and so he gets rid of most of the tobacco.

    sucked newspapers and magazines. Do not keep food or liquids in crystal dishes or imported ceramics. And do not forget about old toys and furniture, which, perhaps, are passed on to your family from generation to generation. Finally, pregnant women and nursing mothers should be especially vigilant and avoid getting lead into their bodies. Pregnancy is not the best time to scrape off old paint in your child's future baby, because lead can get from the mother's blood to the fetus. Before buying a house or rent an apartment, check the paint and water for lead content.

    Analyzes of a child's blood for lead

    If your child has the above-listed risk factors, indicate this to your doctor, who can give you a referral for a blood test. A child living in a territory where the risk of

    lead poisoning is high, should be examined on a mandatory basis at twelve months and at twenty-four months. Since recent studies have shown that even a relatively low level of lead can cause some developmental delay, the blood lead level at which a child may be at risk has been reduced from 25 micrograms per deciliter to 10 micrograms.

    Treatment for lead poisoning

    Treatment for lead poisoning( injecting drugs into the blood to remove lead) is expensive, painful and incapable of removing all lead. Some consequences are irreversible. What can be done? Prevent. Although environmentalists are screaming for the salvation of wild animals in our forests, perhaps the most endangered species is children in our cities.