This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
new study shows that lead-based paint remains a worldwide threat to public
health. Paint containing lead is a major cause of lead poisoning in children.
heavy metal enters the body when children breathe the paint dust or fumes in
the air. Or when babies put their mouth on painted surfaces or swallow pieces
can damage the brain and the nervous system. It can decrease intelligence,
create behavior problems and slow a child's growth.
tested new household enamel paints from twelve countries in Africa, Asia and South
America. The paints were sold under different brand names. The study found that
almost three-fourths of the brands had dangerously high levels of lead.
Clark is a professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine in Ohio.
SCOTT CLARK: "Most of the paint brands that we
looked at had at least one sample that was above ten thousand parts per
million, which is over a hundred times the current U.S. standard."
United States has restricted lead content in paint since nineteen
seventy-eight. Until this past month, the safety standard for consumer paints was
six hundred parts per million. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission has
just lowered the limit to ninety parts per million.
new study appears in the journal Environmental Research. The team found levels
of lead as high as thirty-two thousand parts per million in tests on some paint
samples from Ecuador.
Clark's team also published a study in two thousand six. It found that the majority
of new enamel paints from China, India and Malaysia contained lead at levels of
at least five thousand parts per million.
paint can be a danger not only to people in the country where it is made. Exports
can spread the danger to other countries.
professor says high quality paint can be produced without lead. He and his team
are calling for a worldwide ban on lead-based paint. He says many parts of the
world are doing too little to correct the problem of lead poisoning in
children. He notes that research has found no safe level of lead.
Of course, lead paint is not the only cause of lead poisoning.
Recently Chinese officials closed a manganese metal factory in Hunan province.
More than one thousand children living nearby were reported to have high levels
of lead in their blood. And in two thousand eight, seventeen people died in
Senegal after lead exposure from a battery recycling center.
that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by June Simms. I'm Steve Ember.