We use paints for decorating office and home infrastructures that we live in or protects our shelters. Such paints are also used to ornament our belongings in a bid to save them from rusting or make it look nice. But some of the paints, especially those made up of lead are harmful for human life, especially kids.
A devastating health effects is sure to get experienced if exposure to such paints are prolonged. Every year, an estimated number of 600,000 cases are reported with intellectual disabilities due to the lead exposure. Such exposure has been identified to be high in developing or under developed countries, according to WHO (World Health Organization). WHO estimates that around 99 % of children affected by lead exposure belong to these low and middle income countries. Data also verifies that paint containing lead is the major killer because it is estimated that around 143, 000 deaths per year results by lead poisoning.
Speaking about the lead poisoning, Dr Maria Neira, Director for Public Health and Environment describes, ‘lead is one of the most responsible chemical threatening the health concerns, whereas, paints containing lead is easiest medium for lead poisoning’. Describing about the preventive measure, Dr Neira adds, ‘the restriction of the production of paints made from lead can stop the lead poisoning threatening health of the people’.
Children stay most of the time with their toys and are attached with furniture and other objects that are painted. As per the weather conditions, the paint on furniture, walls and other materials get decayed that creates dusts contaminated with lead. Such contaminated dusts are ingested by kids through their mouthing or continuous attachment. Moreover, the paint chips are sweeter in taste and children are most likely to swallow such paint chips, thus having greater probability of getting exposed to lead.
The WHO has identified 10 chemicals that are threatening the public health, lead as being one of them and against it, WHO has asked all of its member states to take appropriate actions to prevent all the children, young people and adults from lead poisoning. ]
Especially in developing countries, paints are produced; lead as becoming the major ingredient though some paints discards the use of lead. Moreover, the amount of lead being used in such paints is also higher. To prevent lead poisoning, around 30 countries worldwide have already prohibited the use of lead for the production of paint. To achieve more success, The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint has targeted to prohibit the use of lead in paints to bring into practice in additional 70 countries and the venture will be co-led by UNEP and WHO. The objective of the venture would be adopting regulations to eliminate the usage of decorative paints containing lead. The venture will also aware the public about its health hazards.
The awareness was highlighted during the celebration of International Lead Poisoning Awareness Prevention Week of Action that was observed from 20th October till 26th October with the theme ‘Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future’.