Not just Maggie - High lead content in other consumables too

High lead content in consumables 


The high drama with Maggie noodles for its High lead content was and is highly shared news as we all know. But here is a bit of news which throws light on High Lead content found in everyday consumables, which we use.


It’s not just Maggi that has high lead content.

Our daily-use consumables, be it turmeric and vermillion (arishina-kumkum) sold on the roadside, or cosmetics such as kajal and lipstick (both branded and unbranded), can contain high lead content.

In fact, the National Referral Centre for Lead Projects in India (NRCLPI), at St. John’s Medical College, has been analysing various consumables for lead content. It has found samples of both branded and unbranded items to have lead above permissible limits.

On Monday, NRCLPI staff tested samples of turmeric and vermillion using a handheld X-ray fluorescence machine in the presence of the media.

The test revealed that one sq.cm. of a 50-gm packet of vermillion had around 503 ppm lead (parts per million) and an equal portion of turmeric had around 447 ppm lead.

The lead content should be nil in these items.

Vinay Kumar of the NRCLPI, using field portable X-Ray fluorescence analyser for the lead screening test in Bengaluru on Monday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar
Vinay Kumar of the NRCLPI, using field portable X-Ray fluorescence analyser for the lead screening test in Bengaluru on Monday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Testing other daily consumables 

NRCLPI Director Thuppil Venkatesh told presspersons here on Monday that powdered spices, both packaged and sold loose, cosmetics (branded and unbranded), rice from various sources, vegetables, paints and toys, soil and dust and plumbing material from various manufacturers that were tested at the centre have been found to have lead above permissible levels.

“At present, we are using internationally accepted data to detect lead content as we do not have national standards for some material for its lead content,” he said.

Possibly of Lead in your house

Calling upon people to be careful about exposure to lead, Dr. Venkatesh said: “There is possibility of lead in your house if you have stocks of material containing lead, such as paints, inverters, toys, unbranded cosmetics, unbranded traditional medicines and folk medicines.”

He also advised people to use eco-friendly Ganesha idols to keep the environment free from lead.

Tags: Maggie, High Lead, Consumables, Daily Consumable, Risk, Health


Courtesy: The Hindu
Photo: K. Murali Kumar

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