Lead poisoning serious threat to GenNext: Metropolis Study

Lead poisoning remains one of the most important environmental health concerns globally It is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children.

Published On: 2015-06-10

Mumbai June 10, 2015: Lead poisoning remains one of the most important environmental health concerns globally. It is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children. An analysis of733 blood samples collected over the past one year by Metropolis Healthcare Ltd reveals that 23.47% of the total samples tested positive with Lead poisoning. At Metropolis, Lead Poisoning is tested using high sensitivity technology called ICPMS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) and Graphite Furnace Atomic absorption spectrometry. Blood, Serum and Urine samples can be tested for Lead.


According to a WHO study, lead exposure is estimated to account for 1,43,000 deaths per year with the highest burden in developing regions.  Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system. Lead exposure   is estimated to contribute to 6,00,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year. In growing children, lead poisoning causes low IQ, hyperactivity, attention deficit, learning disabilities and anemia.



Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also may be exposed to lead. It can induce brain, kidney, stomach, heart, hearing, muscle and fertility damage. Exposure of pregnant women to high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and low birth weight, as well as minor malformations. Women with high blood lead levels develop early osteoporosis, lower backache, joint pain and persistent anemia.


Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Lead also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also may be exposed to lead. It can induce brain, kidney, stomach, heart, hearing, muscle and fertility damage. Exposure of pregnant women to high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and low birth weight, as well as minor malformations. Women with high blood lead levels develop early osteoporosis, lower backache, joint pain and persistent anemia.


Lead Profile  Age Group Normal Positive Grand Total 2 to 10 -40 3 43 -10 to 20 40 7 47- ,20 to 30- 219 -36 -255,30 to 40- 102 55 157, 40 to 50 70 32 102, 50 to 60 44 18 62 60 to 70 34 15 49 70 to 80 9 3 12 80 and above 3 3 6 Grand Total 561- 172 -733


Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. While the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that a value below 9 ug/dl is safe in children and adults, the healthcare practitioner takes disease management decision based on the symptoms in the patient.


Please note: The data represents patient sample testing in clinically suspected individuals and  hence the % of positivity seen cannot be extrapolated to general population. However possibility of lead toxicity exists across all age groups & should be considered in appropriate  clinical settings.

Commenting on the study Dr. Sandeep Warghade, Consulting Pathologist Metropolis Healthcare Ltd said, “Lead poisoning can be hard to detect even people who seem healthy can  have high blood levels of lead. At high levels of exposure, lead damages the brain  and central  nervous system and can lead to coma, convulsions and even death, signs   and symptoms of lead  poisoning usually don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated. Lead poisoning can  be treated if detected at an early stage; taking some simple precautions can help protect  yourself and your family”.


Major sources of blood lead include leaded contaminated soil, drinking water, petrol emissions,  household dust, battery recycling, silver refining, paints (especially yellow), pigments, printing  presses, ceramic pottery glazes, cosmetics, colours (including kumkum, sindoor, spices and Holi  colours), children’s toys (crayons and painted pencils), plant foods and traditional medicines.

Lead poisoning cases in young children are high because of licking or eating lead-containing  paint when it is peeling off the walls or toys. Lead from a mother’s blood can pass to the fetus  during pregnancy, possibly giving rise to genetic disorders.

About Metropolis Healthcare Ltd
At Metropolis, what we believe is what we say and what we say is what we do. Being empathetic to our customers and being committed to their needs is in our DNA. Metropolis has  grown to harness a culture that is open, synergistic, progressive and scientific in nature.

We are the Pathology Specialists delivering over 15 million tests a year, catering to more than  10,000 Laboratories, Hospitals, Nursing homes and 2,00,000 Consultants. With 34 years of  experience in delivering accurate reports, Metropolis has earned the reputation of being India's most respected and only multinational chain of diagnostic centres with presence in UAE, Sri  Lanka, South Africa, Kenya, Mauritius and Ghana.

Driven to make a difference, our wide network includes 125 state-of-art Laboratories across  India with over 800 collection centres, processing over 4500 varieties of tests and supported by  an efficient team of more than 3500 people. Equipped with cutting edge technology, innovative work equipment, expansive logistics network and rigorous processes, Metropolis ensures and  delivers precision and accuracy in every single test; each time, every time.

In the last 10 years, Metropolis has expanded into new service lines like Clinical Trials, Hospital  Lab Management,       Home Health Services, Preventive Health Check-ups and Corporate &  Wellness Solutions. Metropolis is at the forefront in adopting cutting edge technologies and  services that contribute new revenue streams and has positioned the company on the pedestal  it is today.

Today, we are one of the few laboratories that has received the CAP (College of AmericanPathologists), accreditation, the global gold standard in Laboratory Accreditation. We have also  received the NABL Accreditation (National Accreditation Board for testing and Calibration  Laboratories). In addition, we also adhere to CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement  Amendments) program and follow the guidelines laid by GCP and GLP. Our unit in South Africa  is accredited by SANAS (South African National Accreditation System is the only accreditation  body approved by South African Government).

At Metropolis, we believe in unveiling the inner health of individuals and this motto extends to  our corporate social responsibility activities as well. Giving back to the society is embedded in  the value system of Metropolis and we believe and aim to bring about a positive change in the  nation. Metropolis has been at the forefront in conducting impactful camps and driving  numerous workshops for different sections of the society for the past 3 decades. We partner  with societies, corporates, educational institutions, government bodies, NGOs, wellness  foundations and a host of other organisations to make a difference to the lives we touch. Our camps and awareness workshops emphasize on preventive healthcare and early screening of  diseases. Some of our most recent associations include Epilepsy Foundation, Hep Free India.

Metropolis has been awarded numerous accolades like the ‘Best Diagnostic Company of the  year’ by Modern Medicare       in 2006 and ‘Best Diagnostic Company of the Year’ in 2010 by Frost  & Sullivan. Metropolis was also bestowed with ‘Best IT Integration in Customer Service  Management’ at the e-Health World Expo 2011. Metropolis was also honoured with the  ‘Quality Brand Award’ by NEHRDO in 2012. Metropolis won the ‘CMO Asia Award’ for Best IT  practices in Healthcare in 2012. Metropolis recently bagged the ‘India’s most promising brand  award’ at Global Indian Excellence Summit 2014       held in London.

Metropolis Healthcare is led by Ameera Shah, Managing Director & CEO. An International & National Award winner, she   was conferred with ‘The Young entrepreneur of the Year Award’ by  GE in 2006 and ‘The Young Achiever of the Year Award’ at the CMO Asia Awards in 2011. She was also the recipient of the prestigious ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ in 2011  organised by Entrepreneur India and Bloomberg. She has been honoured with ‘Exemplary  Women Leadership award’ at the World Women Leadership and Congress awards 2014.Recently she has been chosen as one        of the most respected leaders under 40 years by  Economic Times & Spencer Stuart (2014).



 

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Dr. Sandeep Warghade, Consulting Pathologist Metropolis Healthcare Ltd said,Lead poisoning can be hard to detect even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead.
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