A recent report looks at the dangers faced by both children living in close proximity to battery manufacturing units on the developing world and workers who work in such facilities.
A new study reported in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene claims children living close to battery manufacturing units in the developing world were 13 times more apt to have lead traces in their blood than their U.S. counterparts.(WCxKit)
Health officials point out that lead poisoning damages the central nervous system, the kidneys, and the cardiovascular reproductive systems, along with leading to low hemoglobin percentages. In children, it can retard learning, make them hyperactive and even lead to violent behavior.
The researchers, using data from studies published between 1993 and 2010, also discovered that battery industry workers in the developing world had three times higher blood lead levels than their U.S. counterparts.
“Children and workers in developing countries face significant risks of lead poisoning, which can cause lifelong health problems,” commented Perry Gottesfeld, executive director of Occupational Knowledge International (OK International) and study author. “Without major improvements, we expect that lead poisoning cases will continue to increase as the industry grows.”
The battery industry uses approximately 80 percent of the global lead output. The demand is being led by huge demand for batteries in vehicles, solar power systems, cellular phones and for back-up to power supply.(WCxKit)
According to The World Health Organization (WHO), 120 million people are over-exposed to lead – approximately three times the number infected by HIV/AIDS – and 99 percent of the most severely affected live in the developing world.
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