UN: Millions of children globally face lead poisoning risks

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  • A new United Nations report says millions of children – in wealthy and poor nations – are at risk of irreversible health damage because of lead poisoning.
    It says lead can impair brain development, nervous systems and vital organs.
    It blames inadequate recycling of lead-acid batteries, paint in homes and food contaminated by lead-glazed pottery.
    Al Jazeera’s Laura Burdon-Manley has more.

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    In This Story: Lead poisoning

    Lead poisoning is a type of metal poisoning caused by lead in the body. Exposure to lead can occur by contaminated air, water, dust, food, or consumer products. Children are at greater risk.

    Diagnosis is typically by measurement of the blood lead level. Elevated lead may also be detected by changes in red blood cells or dense lines in the bones of children as seen on X-ray.

    As of 2016, lead is believed to have resulted in 540,000 deaths worldwide. It occurs most commonly in the developing world.

    Click here for more detail on lead poisoning at the WHO.

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