Migrant Kids Face Increased Health Risks from Lead in NYC


The Statue of Liberty may be a welcome sight to see for many entering the U.S. from around the world, but according to a recent NYC Health Department study, immigrant children are five times as likely as those born in the U.S. to suffer from lead poisoning in New York City. And not surprisingly the risk is highest among the most recent immigrants.

In fact, the study which took place in 2002 and was recently published online in the American Journal of Public Health this December found that children who had lived outside of the U.S. within the previous six months were 11 times as likely as U.S.-born children to have lead poisoning.
Most severely affected were children from countries where lead is less tightly regulated than in the U.S., including South Asia, particularly Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico. And while only 14 per cent of the city's children were born outside the US, 18 per cent of lead-poisoned children were foreign-born.

Of course I’d like to think that this will make as much news as the import of toxic toys to America, but I’m too realistic to believe it will…

Rather, I’d bet this situation falls under the somewhat famous Adam Smith quotation that a man will lose no sleep over the deaths of untold millions, but will not sleep a wink when faced with the potential loss of even the tip of his little finger.

But I do think it highlights what a giant global problem this lead issue is, and how even lax regulations in other countries impact our own in unsuspected ways like increased health issues in our own cities when people make their way to the U.S. for a better life.

See also:: Chinese Town Becomes Graveyard of Christmas Past

via:: Hindustan Times

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