Hundred children in Hung Yen Province exposed to lead

A study announced by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Environment belonging to the Ministry of Health yesterday shows that environment in Dong Mai Village of the northern province of Hung Yen is seriously polluted with lead, effecting health condition of inhabitants, especially children.

The village is located in Van Lam district where most of residents earn for life by collecting battery and recycling lead, making lead dust spread into environment and water source.

As per the study, content of heavy metal of soil surface in the village is 10,511 μg/g while the amount in the underneath is 7,624 μg/g. Content of lead in third of ten soil surface samples and third of eleven underneath samples has of over 500 μg/g; in addition, six of thirteen samples of air has content of lead exceeding the allowed amount.

Multiple urine specimens were collected and tested for the presence of delta aminolevulinic acid (ALA) in a group of 500 primary and junior high school children in Chi Dao Commune.

Test results showed that 45 percent of children have concentration of delta larger than10mg/l; accordingly, the height of children in the commune is 1-5cm shorter than their counterparts in neighboring commune.

Director of the Preventive Medicine Center of Van Lam district Khuc Chi Thong said that the study showed 209 children exposed to the heavy metal, including 33 of them having lead in blood over 70mg/dl. They need to receive treatment to lower impact of lead exposure soon.

Moreover, though the commune has fresh water supply, only 45 percent of inhabitants in the village use while most of residents use well water in their houses.

The Department of Health said that it liaised with related agencies to urgently detoxicate lead exposure in 33 children. Moreover, health sector in the province will increase information to residents, especially parents of children below 2 year old, women in child-bearing age and people who directly contact with the metal. These people will be under observation to screen lead in blood; accordingly medical workers can have proper treatment.

After hearing the reports of polluted environment and lead exposure in Chi Dao Commune, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai asked the provincial People’s Committee to check the lead pollution and submit solution to the government before May 15, 2015.

By Minh Khang – Translated by Anh Quan

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