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Is it dangerous to have lead pipes or solder in your home?

According to WHOLead poisoning accounts for nearly half of the 2 million deaths from exposure to known chemicals, the study found. Effects of chemicals on public health: known and unknownUpdated in 2021.

Specifically, the report’s authors write: “Lead exposure is estimated to cause 21.7 million years of disability and death worldwide due to its long-term health effects, 30% of which correspond to the idiopathic global burden.” Intellectual disability, 4.6% of the global burden of cardiovascular disease and 3% of the global burden of chronic kidney disease.

The problem is that the lead is there A toxic substance that accumulates in the body And it gradually affects various functions, especially the cardiovascular and, especially in children, the development of their intellectual abilities.

It is particularly harmful to young children whose IQs are affected, to the extent that a study in the United States found that The IQ of half of its residents has dropped an average of three points since 1940 due to lead poisoning..

Lead is distributed throughout the body to reach the brain, liver, kidneys and bones. It is deposited in the teeth and bones, where it accumulates over time. Human exposure is usually assessed by measuring the concentration of lead in the blood, and there is no level below which lead exposure can be said to have no harmful effects.

The origin of lead in our body

The World Health Organization specifies that lead can enter our body in two main ways. the first is respiratoryThat is, through the inhalation of polluted gases and vapors, which later pass into the blood during the exchange of oxygen.

the second is for oral route or by drinking contaminated water or inhaling lead-containing objects such as toys, tools, etc. This is especially delicate for children under the age of two, as they suck everything up. And it is at this age when the effect can be more harmful.

In the first route of entry, the main character was car fumes, as lead was the main source for many years. A catalyst used in gasolineHowever, several decades ago it was banned and replaced by other compounds.

The second entry route features polluted waters Distribution networks made of lead. In Spain, construction with lead pipes has been prohibited since 1980 and a law since 2002 forcing the removal of remaining pipes from buildings.

Despite this, This mandate is not fully fulfilled, at least not at the desired rate, and although it is decreasing, there are still remnants of lead pipes in houses in the old quarters of the cities of the Spanish state. Thus, it is calculated that 10% of houses in Madrid contain more or less of them.

“The problem is that removing lead from bathrooms and kitchens, the two points where waste is most concentrated, comes at a high cost because you have to cut the tile and remove the groove to remove the lead later and replace it. this Today, it does not fall below 2000 euros”, explains Moises Villamayor, the reform businessman responsible Constructions Villa SAin Barcelona.

And it adds to that There is no type of subsidy to implement this withdrawal. Problems also include lead-infused pipe welds and joints, increasing the number of homes and buildings affected.

However, lead content can vary depending on the quality of your water and the region where you live. For example, water with a high calcium content will coat pipes with deposits and stop lead erosion, which occurs in the Mediterranean but not in Madrid or other areas of the Meseta.

secondly, As the Mayo Clinic explains on its websiteThe longer the pipes through which the water passes, the higher the level of intoxication will be, but it should be borne in mind that lead is toxic at any level in the blood. The cumulative factor of contaminated water over many years should not be excluded.

In fact, in the United States, where lead poisoning It is closely related to this road and therefore to poverty in the rust belt areaA group of students A filter is designed to remove lead from water. Joe Biden is also implementing a plan to replace the remaining lead pipes in the country.

dangerous toys

Another point that is now controversial Christmas is comingThere are toys that contain lead, mostly in the paint that covers them, and that’s where little ones will go to pose in their mouths.

Although the law prohibits their presence, the growth of internet commerce from countries like China and the lack of controls has led to the introduction of toys that do not always comply with the law.

So in 2007 Mattel forced to export many toys from Spain to remove lead paint from Chinese factories. also UK experts warn of the risk of exposure to chemicals when using used plastic toys.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Consequences of lead poisoning in children they are:

  • developmental delay
  • Learning difficulties
  • Irritability
  • loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Laziness and fatigue
  • Stomach-ache
  • vomiting
  • Constipation
  • hearing loss
  • convulsions
  • Eating things like paint chips that are not edible

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Source: El Diario





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