Lead content high in children`s jewellery found in Delhi: NGO

Last Updated: Saturday, July 3, 2010 - 00:44

New Delhi: An earring or bracelet which
you buy for your child may pose a health hazard for your loved
one, with a new study claiming that artificial jewellery found
in Delhi`s markets have dangerous levels of lead content.

According to the report released by an NGO `Toxic
Links`, all the 54 samples of children`s ornaments, which it
collected for the study, contained lead in varied range, which
was in some cases 1,000 times higher than the permissible
limit of 300 particle per million (ppm) in the US.

"It is surprising that the government till now has set
no standards or attempted to protect millions of children in
India from this exposure," said Ravi Aggarwal, Director,
Toxic Links.

Samples were collected from various manufacturing and
retailing markets located in central Delhi, Janpath, Old Delhi
and Sadar Bazar to examine lead concentration in different
jewellery worn by children.

The study claimed pink to be the most common colour in
all such sample groups or samples that had high lead level.
Not only coloured jewellery but also non-coated colourless
ornaments showed high lead content, it said.

"It is quite likely that most of the lead content is
coming from paints and pigments being used to colour the
jewellery. Lead is usually added to brighten colours," said
Prashant Rajankar, a member of the investigating team.

The report stated that samples of rings, despite being
small in size, contained 90 per cent lead above the
permissible limit as compared to the other items.

"It indicates that lead is being used as a malleable
material and for giving durability and better shape to the
jewellery, along with being corrosion resistant," Aggarwal
told PTI.

According to the NGO, World Health Organisation has
labeled lead as the foremost environmental pollutant, having
the capability to permanently lower the IQ of children.

"The problem of lead in blood levels is under
recognised in the country. There have been instances of pica,
which is an abnormal tendency with children to eat things
other than the usual food, which may be due a higher chances
of exposure to hazardous materials in environment, " said Dr
Arvind Taneja, pediatrician at Max Super Speciality.

-PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 3, 2010 - 00:44

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