84 Chinese kids detected with lead poisoning

July 26th, 2010 - 5:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 26 (IANS) Excessive levels of lead have been found in the blood of 84 children in China’s Yunnan province, officials said.
The toxic element was detected in children under the age of 14 during a check conducted by the health department from July 2 to July 16, China Daily reported Monday.

The affected children experienced muscular spasms and suffered from nausea.

Excessive lead content can damage the nervous and reproductive systems, as well as cause high blood pressure and anaemia. In severe cases, it can lead to convulsions, coma and even death.

“My kid is only four years old. We sent him to the hospital when he was suffering from muscle jerks,” said Yang Weihong, father of a ill child.

The hospital in which the children have been admitted is yet to make a statement on their condition.

An initial investigation found the children might have inhaled lead fumes discharged from illegal gold metallurgy workshops owned by some villagers, who took to dumping poisonous mineral waste in nearby fields.

To contain the situation, a clean-up operation has been launched, in which streets are being washed to reduce the amount of fine particles in the air.

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