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AIIMS scientists find lead in milk samples in Eluru

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

AIIMS scientists find lead in milk samples in Eluru:


Context:

Scientists of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have revealed that lead was noticed in milk samples collected in Eluru town and its neighbouring villages in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

Background:

With the outbreak of the undiagnosed illness in Eluru and its adjoining areas on December 4, experts and doctors from various organisations rushed to the district and collected food, water, milk, blood and other samples.

About Lead:

  • Lead in the body is distributed to the brain, liver, kidney and bones. It is stored in the teeth and bones, where it accumulates over time.
  • Lead in bone is released into blood during pregnancy and becomes a source of exposure to the developing foetus.
  • WHO has identified lead as 1 of 10 chemicals of major public health concern.
  • WHO has joined with the United Nations Environment Programme to form the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint.

Factors contributing to lead poisoning:

  1. Informal and substandard recycling of lead-acid batteries.
  2. Increase in vehicle ownership, combined with the lack of vehicle battery recycling regulation and infrastructure.
  3. Workers in dangerous and often illegal recycling operations break open battery cases, spill acid and lead dust in the soil.
  4. They also smelt the recovered lead in crude, open-air furnaces that emit toxic fumes poisoning the surrounding community.

lead_toxic

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. 10 chemicals of major public health concern identified by WHO.
  2. Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint has been launched by?
  3. Lead is mainly used in?
  4. Largest primary producers of lead.
  5. Lead production and consumption in India.

Mains Link:

Write a note on lead poisoning and ways to prevent it.

Sources: the Hindu.