Lead poisoning is still a dreaded condition that most of us usually don’t pay attention to. Earlier, lead-based paint and gasoline used to be the primary sources of lead, but now, you may be exposed to lead from numerous surprising sources. Lead poisoning is especially unsafe for young children as it may cause central nervous system disorders. This stunts behavioural and developmental growth. In adults, excessive amounts of lead can cause kidney failure and heart damage.
Although lead-based paint is no longer sold due to its harmful effects, lead can still be found in numerous articles of daily use. Here we have compiled some of the most common household items that may be contaminated with lead, and how you can protect yourself from lead exposure.
- Food items.
We know how this may seem really odd, considering that fresh produce is supposed to be the healthiest form of food, but if the ground in which it is grown is contaminated with lead, then the chances of exposing yourself to the harmful chemical is quite high. A lot of tin packaging also contains lead levels that are higher than the prescribed limit, contaminating the food inside.
In case you grow your own produce, it is a good idea to get your soil samples tested. When you are buying from the market, you don’t have much of a choice, so stick to your usual sellers who are reliable. While ordering packed and tinned food, always check if the company adheres to safety procedures.
- Construction goods.
Lead-based paint is banned now, but it was in heavy use a while back. If your house is older than thirty years, there is a chance that it may have been constructed with items that contained lead. Lead dust can be inhaled without any knowledge and even a small amount can cause harm. Your home and community piping system may have been constructed using materials containing lead, and this can contaminate your water.
It is advised to contact your local authorities to see if they can test around your property for lead exposure.
Over the years, this has become the biggest source of lead exposure for children. Toys and pacifiers should never be bought from cheap thrift markets since they may contain lead, and children tend to put everything in their mouths anyway. Be wary of toys that are imported from abroad and sold for cheap rates.
You can go on the government’s website to see if any particular toy brand have been blacklisted, as there have been numerous reports of lead exposure from toys which has made the government take appropriate steps to make parents aware of the damages.
- Jewelry and cosmetics.
Many mass produced cosmetic items such as mascara, kohl and lipsticks may contain lead. Before you buy any of these, always make sure to check that the brand tests their products properly and does not have any allegations regarding lead exposure.