Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lead (Pb) Belly


We've seen it on the periodic table as that funky (Pb) symbol, and we have heard of its presence more so in Chinese manufactured toys. This seems to be one thing that past generations and even today's Millennials cannot rid themselves of is the exposure to lead. It seems as if lead is in everything ,right? Paint, dust, air, water, food, and even soil. However, over the past 15 years, according to the Americam Medical Association, a significant reduction has occurred in air-borne lead and lead in food. These reductions have occurred through the phasing out of leaded gasoline and the elimination of cans with lead-soldered seams.
Despite these efforts, lead poisoning continues to be a common problem among young children in the United States. It is currently estimated that 8.9 percent of children between the ages of one and five have a blood lead level equal to or greater than 10 µ/dL.(micrograms per deciliter of whole blood). Folks, the average blood lead levels was 1.9 μ/dL in 2002. That's a problem for a little ones who simply have too much lead in their belly and in their blood. What are we supposed to do? While I'm not endorsing a name or company, I did find it interesting how one particular non-profit organization known as OK International is determined to make a difference when it comes to environmental diseases linked to industrial pollution. They make small grants and provide technical assistance to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which has attracted quite a lot of attention. Their objective is simple - devise a universal standard through a comprehensive set of voluntary certification criteria for lead battery manufacturing facilities. This is referred to as The Better Environmental Sustainability Targets (BEST) Standard. A big goal - not an easy task - but an effort that is respected.

Source: American Medical Association
Image Source: OK International

1 comment:

Aviva said...

Great post. Lead poisoning is also a problem because studies show that even low levels of lead can cause brain damage and, surprisingly, make those exposed to lead more likely to commit violent crimes. There are definitely some interesting environmental justice implications with this study. Read all about it here: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/28/science/sci-lead28

-Aviva
http://thebirdsandthepcbs.blogspot.com