In June 2014, news broke that more than 300 children’s blood lead levels exceeded the standard in a town in Hunan.
At that time, people suspected that a nearby chemical factory producing electric zinc was responsible for the disaster. However, the mayor came forward and responded: There may be many causes of lead poisoning, and biting a pencil can also bite out lead exceeding the standard! Chemical plants meet the pollution discharge standards!
The result of the investigation is that excessive heavy metals discharged from chemical plants have caused serious lead dust pollution and water pollution in the area, which is directly related to the high blood lead level of a large number of children.
However, does the use of pencils really lead to lead poisoning? Why is lead poisoning more common in children than in adults? How can keep children away from the harm of lead?
Can pencils cause lead poisoning?
Although pencils are called pencils, the refill is mainly graphite and does not contain lead.
Therefore, it is very safe to use qualified pencils in normal methods.
However, biting a pencil is really not a good habit: the colorful paint outside the pencil may contain lead; In addition, unqualified pencils contain carcinogens of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and some heavy metals also exceed the standard.
Therefore, children biting pencils is not only unhygienic, but also harmful. They must be helped to give up this habit.
Where is lead hidden?
In daily life, the following articles that children often come into contact with contain lead:
- Ink, oil painting, stick, colored mud, toy paint, colorful furniture and tableware
Not only that, pigmented snacks, canned food and automobile exhaust, industrial exhaust and polluted air environment also contain lead.
In addition, there are some things that are easy to ignore, such as the milk of mothers suffering from lead poisoning, cosmetics and hair dye frequently used by mothers, secondhand smoke that has been invaded for a long time, and even smoke dust containing lead substances produced by burning battery cartridges, which can all lead to inhalation poisoning of infants.
Is it frightening to see here? Don’t worry, don’t panic. Ding Ma will take you to study. Lead poisoning in children has what manifestations.
How to judge whether the child has lead poisoning?
Unfortunately, many children do not show obvious symptoms and atypical symptoms after lead poisoning. To diagnose lead poisoning, only blood lead concentration can be checked.
However, the performance of children varies with different types of poisoning:
1. Acute or subacute poisoning
Excessive exposure to lead in a short period of time will lead to acute or subacute lead poisoning.
At this time, the child may say that his mouth has a metallic smell, and at the same time he may suffer from drooling, vomiting (vomitus is white milk lumps), abdominal pain and other symptoms.
There are also some children who will feel less at the end of their hands and feet at this time.
In addition, when lead poisoning encephalopathy occurs, children may also have headache, convulsion and even coma.
2. Chronic lead poisoning
Exposure to lead at a relatively low level for a long time, but the accumulated lead content in the body reaches or exceeds the toxic dose, will lead to chronic poisoning.
Children may not be able to eat, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. There are many possible reasons for these manifestations, which are easily ignored by parents.
In the long run, children may be short and have problems such as hyperactivity and learning disabilities.
In addition, these performances may be quite special:
- At the junction of teeth and gums, a black lead line can be seen. Gray face; The results of blood routine showed hypopigmented normal erythrocyte anemia.
If you know clearly that your child has been exposed to lead for a large amount or a long time, don’t wait until your child has these symptoms before checking, because lead is very harmful to your child, and it is difficult to correct it once it affects your development. Therefore, the importance of preventing lead poisoning is far greater than treatment.
Is your child at risk of lead poisoning? Quickly compare the above to see if the child has frequent contact with those things, and don’t let his negligence delay the child’s health.
How to prevent lead poisoning in children?
1. Use of unleaded petrol
Before the promotion of unleaded gasoline, more than 50% of blood lead in human body was caused by leaded gasoline.
In order to isolate children from lead, please let children less contact with the environment with many people and heavy traffic.
Step 2 Wash off lead ash
Since children have not yet established their own hygiene habits, they prefer to eat without washing their hands, suck their fingers and bring lead into their stomachs inadvertently.
Therefore, children should wash their hands frequently, even if they don’t look dirty.
Parents should often mop the floor, wipe the windowsill with wet dishcloth, and pour dirty water into the toilet. Note that dry dishcloth can also scatter lead ash everywhere.
3. Pay attention to the choice of home decoration materials
Home decoration pollution is also one of the main causes of lead poisoning in children.
If you have children, please pay attention to the lead content of painted furniture, decorations, wallpaper, electrical appliances and lead paint.
Step 4 Don’t take lead home
If parents are engaged in building decoration, colored glass painting, fishing lead pendant, industrial paint, ceramic glaze and other industries that need to contact lead-containing substances, remember to wash hands, face, change clothes after work, and then contact the baby.
In addition, work clothes and other clothes must be washed separately.
STEP 5 Keep your food free of lead
In order to prevent lead pollution, children’s food and tableware should be covered with dust covers to avoid canned food for children.
Since some food additives also contain lead, children should be given less drinks and candies.
Step 6 Stay away from secondhand smoke
If people smoke in the environment where children often stay, children will be more prone to lead poisoning.
Therefore, whether it is to prevent lead poisoning or for the sake of children’s health, a smoke-free and clean living environment should be created for children.
7. Balanced nutrition
Lack of calcium, iron, vitamins and other nutrients will lead to excessive absorption of lead, so children should eat more foods rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C:
- Milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach and other high calcium content; Meat, eggs and cereals have high iron content. Oranges, grapes, potatoes, green peppers, etc. are rich in vitamin C.
8. Pre-pregnancy protection
Lead damage to children starts when the baby is still in the mother’s belly, so if you want children, you must prevent lead pollution.
Why are children prone to lead poisoning?
Lead is a kind of heavy metal existing in soil and has toxicity. In 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that when the blood lead index reaches 5 g/dL or more, the toxic dose will be reached, which may affect children’s growth, behavior and learning ability.
Lead is often used to make daily necessities. These articles with lead will release lead as they wear out during use.
Children are more likely to suffer from lead poisoning than adults because children often use their tongues to [taste] contaminated hands or various toys and articles in their lives, and children’s gastrointestinal tract is also easier to absorb lead than adults.
In the United States, children need to be screened for blood lead concentration at the age of one and two.
Although there is no such screening in our country, parents need to be vigilant if the following situations exist:
Frequent exposure to lead-containing dust;
I like to put gems and other things that may contain lead in my mouth.
Regular contact with lead-related staff;
Have access to cosmetics.
If children have these characteristics, they are at high risk of lead poisoning.
At this time, parents should be extra careful. It is necessary to take their children to the hospital for examination and do a good job in screening lead poisoning.
This article has passed the peer review of Dr. Clove’s peer review expert committee.
Copyright of Clove Garden. No reprinting is allowed without permission.