Lead poisoning

Published: Wednesday 31 March 1999

be careful when you take an ayurvedic tonic next time. According to Devika Nag, head department of neurology at the King Georgess Medical College, Lucknow, several brands of the popular ayurvedic tonic, Chawanpraysh had, significant levels of lead in it. Nag was speaking at a conference on lead poisoning in Bangalore. She also gave several other examples of commonly-used material that can result in ingestion of lead such as surma, kajal and sindoor. However, Nag said the primary source of lead pollution remains lead from petrol.

In two of the most polluted cities of the world, Mexico City and Bangkok, the decision to universalise the use of unleaded fuel resulted in a dramatic drop in ambient lead levels.

In both instances, the decision was taken by the governments after studies revealed the extent of lead poisoning. The Indian Oil Corporation delegates present at the conference assured that India was on its way to becoming lead-free.

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