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Lead awareness drive switches focus to City’s day-care centres Print E-mail
09 March 2017
Leadchemical

The City of Johannesburg’s Department of Environmental Health on Wednesday March 8 took its lead awareness campaign to day care centre owners in Region A in an ongoing attempt to limit the chemical substance’s damaging exposure to children.

Lead is added to paint to speed up the drying process and increase durability. It is also found in toys. The substance is dangerous, especially to children, because it tastes sweet, tempting them to put its chips and toys with lead dust in their mouths.

Children can also contract lead poisoning by sucking products such as batteries and pencils. Lead exposure is so dangerous, it can stunt growth in children.

About two weeks ago, the City’s Environmental Health officials took the lead awareness campaign to foundation phase learners and educators at three primary schools in the city – Bree Street Primary in Mayfair West, Mossie Primary in Forest Hill and Hesperus Primary in Randburg.

On Wednesday at The Answer Church of God in Christ in Ebony Park, city officials gave a presentation to members of the Trinity Forum, an association of crèche and day care centre owners in Ebony Park, Kaalfontein and Allandale on the dangers posed by lead exposure. The presentation focused on symptoms, causes and prevention.

Crèche and day care centre owners were warned they should ask questions regarding lead when accepting donations. They were also urged to buy toys from reputable shops and to prevent lead poisoning by making sure they painted their centres with lead-free paint, keep the centres dust free, buy lead-free toys and check the ASTM F963 code when purchasing toys.

Lulama Scott, a Ward 111 Environmental Health Practitioner, said it was important to educate crèche and day care centre owners about lead poisoning.

“This is about protecting our kids. Lead poison kills slowly. We are happy with the turnout today,” said Scott.
She said the city had inspectors who focused on the manufacturing industry and had powers to confiscate products with lead on the spot.

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Last Updated on 09 March 2017