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If you don’t know what lead poisoning is or you are just hearing this for the first time, please let me acquaint you. Lead poisoning is a medical condition that involves the intake of lead by ingestion, skin absorption, breathing etc. Lead has metallic properties but what is of utmost concern is that it is poisonous to the human body. Lead is considered to be dangerous to human health because it is toxic to several organs and tissues of the body. It has a toxic effect on the heart, kidney, liver, muscles, bones, reproductive system etc. It especially attacks the nervous system causing brain disorders. High levels of lead in the body can cause brain disorders including vomiting, stumbling, seizures, confusion and coma. This is why it is important for parents to watch and care closely for their toddlers because they are fond of just putting things into their mouths or playing in unsafe places where they may ingest lead by inhaling or absorbing them into the body. In children, high levels of lead can cause behavioural disorders, low IQ, poor grades, learning inabilities and growth delays. It is bad to have lead around children because they are still growing and their nervous system can easily get overtaken by the effects of this grave defector. In Zamfara State, lead is naturally occurring in abundance in gold mines. This is something of national concern; in 2010 about 163 deaths were recorded in just a span of 4 months with 111 of these being children. It is very important for the government to take serious the issue of lead poisoning in her healthcare plans for the future of our children. If you have no idea where you or your kid may contact lead, here are some pointers: 1. Lead dust is not visible with your eye and can easily be breathed. 2. It is present in old paints and can therefore be picked up off of the walls of houses with old paints. Up till 30 years ago, lead paints were still made. Therefore, it is paramount that you prevent your kid from playing around the soil near such places. 3. Lead can be found on some toys children play with and sometimes put directly into their mouth, making them prone to a hand-to-mouth lead infection. 4. Bullets, fish sinkers, sink faucets and certain pipes in our homes are made of lead, which can contaminate our drinking water easily. 5. Paint sets and art supplies have lead. 6. Storage batteries have lead present in them. 7. Lead painted jewelry, art work, potteries etc. are to be avoided.   You can check to confirm your internal lead level by taking a blood lead test in any hospital just to be sure if you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • Stomach cramps
  • Muscle cramps
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Aggression
  • Memory loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Blood loss (anemia)
  Please visit a doctor if you have reoccurring issues like these to check your blood lead level. And keep the children safe and healthy.     Photo Credit:   About the Writer: Bello Muhammad is a graduate of Biological Sciences. He is passionate about education and personal development. He is also a lover of chess who has featured in the West African University Games for his institution. You can contact him via Google+ and email:, phone 08152501891 and Twitter @Slimanic.

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This article was first published on 21st July 2015

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