Rally held in Kathmandu to raise awareness about lead poisoning

Kathmandu, October 25

The Ministry of Health, Centre for Public Health and Environmental Development, and IPN organised a rally today to raise awareness about lead poisoning.

A week-long awareness programme is being held from October 23 with the objective of making Nepal lead-free and saving people from lead poisoning.

Experts claim that 853,000 people die annually in the world due to lead poisoning. Exposure to lead can cause heart diseases, cancer, impotency in men, high blood pressure, and in extreme cases death.

In a health survey carried out by the IPN with blood samples taken from 312 people in Dharan and 304 people in Kathmandu, 65 per cent of the total blood samples showed some lead content.

Among the children examined in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, 90 per cent of the children showed more than five micrograms of lead content in their blood.

In Nepal, the government has formulated a law barring the use of more than 90 PPM of lead content in paints, but no paint manufacturers mention the amount of lead content in their paint buckets.

CEPHED Executive Director and environmentalist Ram Charitra Sah said the week-long programme was launched to free Nepal of lead and to instill awareness among people of its dangers. He called for bringing the 90 PPM threshold stipulated by the government to zero level.