The toxic chemicals are poisoning children’s health in India, according to a new study.
It said children in the south of the country, which is plagued by severe air pollution and has a large concentration of toxic substances, are most at risk from the chemical industry.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) said the prevalence of some of the toxic chemicals in air and water was particularly high in areas where the industry is largest.
In a new report, titled ‘Toxic chemical air pollution’, researchers at the IIT said the concentration of some types of toxins in children’s air and drinking water was higher than what was found in the United States.
The report comes amid growing concern about the impact of toxic chemicals on the environment, and the need for action to tackle the problem.
According to the report, children’s exposure to some of these toxic chemicals is particularly high.
Children in areas with heavy industrialisation in the north, such as the capital New Delhi, were found to be at higher risk, with the concentration at levels that were three times higher than in the rest of India.
Children living in a region where the air quality is poor are particularly at risk, it said.
The air quality in New Delhi has been called ‘toxic’, with more than 300,000 people being exposed to pollutants linked to the smog.
The researchers found that the children’s concentration of several toxic chemicals was higher in areas that were the most industrialised, which included industrial areas in the capital, New Delhi.
Toxic chemicals have also been found in drinking water, including lead and cadmium.
Lead and cadmetal have been linked to serious health problems in children, with exposure to them in excess of five micrograms per decilitre (mg/dL) causing elevated blood lead levels in children.
The study also found that children in urban areas, where the pollution levels are higher, were more likely to have higher levels of the toxins in their blood than children living in rural areas.
Children exposed to lead were found more likely than those in the cities to have high levels of cadmexin and cadmotoxin, and to have elevated levels of lead in their urine.
The study, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, was led by Dr. Subhash Bhattacharya, a professor of chemical engineering and chemical epidemiology.
It said that in urban and suburban areas, concentrations of toxic metals were found at higher levels than in rural and suburban places.
It added that there was no clear evidence that exposure to toxic chemicals increases the risk of developing lung cancer.