How does lead in drinking water affect human health?

Lead is a very toxic metal that can cause cancer. With the naked eye or smell, taste, it is impossible to detect the lead content in drinking water and food.

If we drink the waste water can affect all the internal organs in the human body. Long-term exposure to this heavy metal will affect the nervous system, making the activity of fingers, wrists, ankles weak, blood pressure slightly increased, anemia. Garbage people have a high risk of causing serious damage to the brain, kidneys, and even death.

1. The effect of lead on human health

Lead has no beneficial physiological role in the body, the normal total blood lead concentration is < 10 µg/dL, the ideal concentration is 0 µg/dL. Experts warn that breathing lead-containing air or ingesting lead-contaminated foods, drinks or drugs will cause the body to accumulate lead leading to many dangerous diseases.

The allowable limit of lead content in drinking water according to QCVN 01:2009/BYT is 0.01mg/l, in ambient air is 1.5µg/m3 of air (24-hour average) (QCVN 05:2013) /BTNMT), in agricultural land is 70 mg/kg dry soil (QCVN 03-MT:2015/BTNMT)..

Humans can be exposed to lead through a variety of sources such as: illegally circulated male drugs with lead (persimmon), leaded paint, leaded gasoline, canned goods with lead solder, water from contaminated soil, lead plumbing.

In children, severe lead poisoning is diagnosed as follows:

– Clinical: Central nervous system: encephalopathy (behavior changes, seizures, coma, papilledema, cranial nerve palsy, increased intracranial pressure); digestive: prolonged vomiting; manifestations of anemia, possibly combined with iron deficiency.

– Laboratory tests: Blood lead concentration: > 70 µg/dL.

For adults, the diagnosis of severe lead poisoning is as follows:

– Clinical: Central nervous system: encephalopathy (convulsions, coma, hazy state, delirium, focal movement disorders, headache, papilledema, optic neuritis, signs of hypertension intracranial force); peripheral nerves: peripheral paralysis; gastrointestinal: abdominal cramps, vomiting; blood: anemia, possibly combined with iron deficiency; kidney: kidney disease.

– Laboratory tests: Blood lead level: > 100 µg/dL.

In addition, there are cases of adults with lead poisoning without symptoms or subtle symptoms:

– Clinical: Reproduction: decreased sperm count, risk of miscarriage; neurologic: may have subtle deficits (prolonged exposure); cardiovascular: risk of hypertension; increased erythrocyte protoporphyrin.

– Laboratory tests: Blood lead concentration: < 40 µg/dL.

Severe manifestations are usually acute or acute exacerbations of chronic poisoning.

Nguyên nhân và mối nguy hiểm tiềm ẩn của chì trong nước uống. (Ảnh WHO cảnh báo)

2. Prevention of lead contamination

To prevent the disease, we need to take the following measures:

– Strengthen health communication and education, raise people’s awareness, when sick, only check at registered establishments and use legally circulated drugs;

– Eliminate products that are at risk of lead poisoning in daily life such as lead paint, lead toys, etc.

– Keep the environment clean, especially at home and school, practice good personal hygiene for children (especially wash hands, cut nails, do not put hands and things in mouth). Children in areas with lead pollution, besides environmental treatment, need to pay attention to regularly provide enough necessary minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium …

– To ensure labor hygiene and safety, especially for occupations at risk of lead poisoning, it is necessary to ensure the environment and work safety, avoid pollution, and have health checks (including blood lead testing). ) periodic.

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