Childhood lead exposure is costing developing countries $992 billion annually due to reductions in IQs and earning potential, according to a new study published June 25.
The report by New York University researchers is the first to calculate the economic cost of children exposed to lead in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other developing regions. The researchers found that, despite major declines in exposure in the United States and Europe, lead is still harming brains and bottom lines in poorer regions around the world.
The toxic metal is annually taking a 1.2 percent chunk out of the entire world’s gross domestic product, according to the new report.
“Childhood lead exposure represents a major opportunity lost,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor at New York University School of Medicine and senior author of the study published online in Environmental Health Perspectives. “Prevention may actually accelerate economic development, which is critically needed in these countries.”
Low levels of lead affect children’s IQs, their ability to pay attention and how well they do in school. It also has been linked to violent and antisocial behavior. Read More
By R. C. Camphausen, http://www.digitaljournal.com
While lead in paint has been banned in Europe and the US for years, certain companies still produce lead paint and sell it abroad. There, yet also at home, young children still suffer the consequences: lower IQ, slowed body growth, failure at school.
Lead is a metal found in soil, water, air and dust — as well as in products used in or around our homes; for example in paint and toys. Lead is dangerous for both children and adults, yet the very young, up to age six, are most likely to contract lead poisoning as they breathe in or swallow dust from old lead paint particles that collect on floors and windowsills, hands and toys.