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Issue 43
, 2013
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Rise in lead poisoning cases sparks alarm in Capital

Toxics Link
Source: Mail On line India, Date: , 2013

The increasing number of lead poisoning cases in city hospitals have raised an alarm, with doctors saying what was once a rare occurrence seems to be more common.

"We are attending to over a dozen cases of mild and moderate lead poisoning in a month. Severe cases of lead poisoning occur as an occupational hazard among people working in the metal industry. 

"People suffering from mild and moderate lead poisoning may have repeated anaemia, a low IQ level, headache, impaired fertility and hypertension," said Dr Jugal Kishore, professor, community medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak hospital. 

Doctors have called for surveillance of the lead content in humans because there are scores of factories running in violation of the law.


Officials from SRL Diagnostics claimed that they receive around 600 samples every month for Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, which detects metal content in human body fluids. 

The officials claimed that at least 350 samples contain lead followed by copper (125), zinc (50) and other metals such as arsenic, mercury, aluminium and chromium. 

Recently, doctors at RML hospital attended to an 18-year-old non-smoker who came to the emergency department suffering from colicky abdominal pain for one week. 

The case was also published in The New England Journal of Medicine because of it being a rare manifestation of lead poisoning. Recently, five-year-old Diya died of lead poisoning at Kalawati Saran hospital after suffering kidney failure.

Her father worked for a battery factory in Uttam Nagar. Doctors call for surveillance of the lead content in human bodies because there are scores of recycled batteries and plastic factories running in rank violation of the law. 

Lead is dangerous because once it gets into the system, it is distributed throughout the body just like helpful minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc.