Lead is a harmful substance especially when ingested. Despite efforts to lessen the use of lead in products such as gasoline and paint, however, traces of it still remain. Worse, lead can be inhaled, leading to the accumulation of the mineral in the body. Unfortunately, according to a study published in the American Chemical Society’s journal Environmental Science & Technology and reported by TIME, children are the most at risk.
The study indicated that exposure to lead at an early age may result in lower average scores in math, science and reading for elementary and junior high school students. A total of 21,281 kids were tested for lead content in their blood between 1990 and 2008. The researchers then went over the 2008-2010 test results for these children in the said subjects, and found that those with high blood lead content scored lower than those whose lead levels were lower.
Although it may seem that lead poisoning in children is unavoidable, it can actually be prevented. Parents should keep children from areas with peeling paint especially in old houses, as its fumes, although undetectable, may contain lead. It’s also important to check if the toys they play with are lead-free.
(Photo by Randen Pederson via Flickr Creative Commons)