Thiruvananthapuram: This week witnessed the opening of its first lead-poisoning detection and treatment centre in Kerala, as people increasingly take to traditional medicines that are believed to contain heavy metals.
Set up at the Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), the new Lead Research Lab is the 51st centre of the National Referral Centre for Lead Projects in India (NRCLPI).
It was inaugurated by Venkatesh Thuppil, popularly known as the Lead Man of India, reports IANS
M.I. Sahadulla, CMD of KIMS, said that the centre is equipped with modern technology to determine the Blood Lead Levels (BLL) of all age groups and results are available within five minutes of collecting blood from a fingertip.
Lead is also present in cosmetics and paint and exposure to these can create health issues.
Children with elevated blood-lead levels above 5 ug/dl are likely to have lower IQ apart from disturbed cognitive functions.While lead poisoning can be treated, any damage caused cannot be reversed. Children who recovered from lead poisoning are many times left with mental retardation and behavioural disorders
Regular monitoring of BLL can prevent many such neurological damages which are irreversible.
In the elderly, bone and kidney-related damages are seen as a result of exposure to lead.