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Toxics Alert, an environment news bulletin from toxics link Toxics Link
Issue 57
, 2015
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Awareness Campaign on Lead (Pb) in Paints in Schools

Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2015

Toxics Link has been conducting school programs in various schools of Delhi to inform and educate students about harmful health effects of lead (Pb), a heavy metal, in paints. The program further envisages that these students in turn would reach out to many others who as consumers would become aware and demand for lead safe paints.

 As a part of this ongoing campaign, presentations and film screenings were done in Balvantray Mehta Vidya Bhawan Senior Secondary School, Lajpat Nagar on 23 January 2015. About 50 students of standard IX attended this school program. The 45 minutes presentation began with screening of a short film on lead and its health effects on children between 0-6 years of age. This was followed by a power point presentation on lead in paints where in information on lead in general, and lead as health concern was discussed with children.

 The effectiveness of the power point presentation was evident from the fact that it aroused many questions and queries from the students. The teachers along with the students took active part in the presentation by sharing their own experiences, observations and knowledge.

 Some of the questions raised were –Is lead (Pb) present in printing paints? What is the full form of VOC? Why is cadmium used in paints? What safety standards in place for use of heavy metals? What kind of chemicals is present in computers and mobile phones? Do computer and mobile phone body paints use lead? Do lipsticks and nail enamels contain lead?

 Information was also sought about labs where blood lead level tests are done in Delhi, and what is the approximate cost for the same.

One student shared his experience on how his friend fell unconscious immediately after he inhaled the air soon after shattering of his laptop screen. In the end, the Eco-Club teacher encouraged the students to actively spread awareness regarding lead (Pb) in paints.