The extent of domestic lead exposure, and its resulting health hazards has been understudied in developing countries, though its importance in cognitive dysfunction related to early exposure is well established in countries such as the United States, says Scott Clark, PhD, professor of environmental health at UC and study collaborator.
Researchers compared the Nigerian paint samples with those sold in some Asian countries, using data obtained by Clark and his collaborators in previous studies. In the September 2006 issue of the journal Environmental Research, Clark reported that more than 75 percent of consumer paint tested from countries without lead-content controlsincluding India, Malaysia and Chinahad levels exceeding U.S. regulations. Collectively, these countries represent more than 2.5 billion people.
Although the median lead levels on Nigerian consumer-based paints did not substantially differ from those in Asian countries, nearly all still exceeded U.S. safety guidelines.
Sandy Roda, a study coauthor who oversaw sample analysis, stressed the international nature of the problem. She noted that one paint manufacturer in Nigeria sold high-lead paint in India, but offered a low-lead version in Singapore, a country that enforces a lead standard similar to the United States.
Its very likely that many existing Nigerian homes contain dangerously high levels of lead, so its absolutely critical from a health standpoint that immediate efforts be made to assess the presence of lead in homes, adds Clark.
Lead is a malleable metal previously used to improve the durability and color luster of paint applied in homes and on industrial structures such as bridges. Now scientifically linked to impaired intellectual and physical growth in children, lead is also found in some commonly imported consumer products, including candy, folk and traditional medications, ceramic dinnerware and metallic and wo
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University of Cincinnati