Goslar district expands heavy metal study in children | – News – Lower Saxony

Status: 03/28/2023 07:41 a.m

The district of Goslar is expanding its study on heavy metal pollution in the Harz Mountains. The first analyzes found significant amounts of lead and cadmium in the blood of children.

All children of primary school age in the district of Goslar can voluntarily submit a blood sample for the school entry examinations from September if their parents agree. For this purpose, a drop of blood is taken from the fingertip, the district said. Researchers at the Munich University Hospital will then examine the blood for traces of heavy metals.

VIDEO: Health authorities want to examine local residents (08/02/2019) (1 min)

Elevated lead and cadmium levels in every second child

Heavy metals are said to have gotten into the environment through centuries of mining and smelting in the Harz Mountains. Children in particular seem to be affected. Last year almost 400 schoolchildren and their parents from the towns of Goslar-Oker and Bad Harzburg-Harlingerode were able to have themselves tested. There are still many metalworking companies based there. The result: Almost half of the 89 children examined had elevated levels of cadmium and lead in their blood, some of which were well above the limit values. According to a study, however, lead exposure in children has fallen by 90 percent since 1980.

Heavy metals can damage the kidneys and brain

Lead can damage brain function, especially in children, and cadmium can damage the kidneys. Environmental organizations and local residents have therefore been calling for a study on heavy metal pollution for years. Because of the corona pandemic, the investigations could only start last year.

Further information

Blood sample in a test tube © Photo: Shawn Hempel

In a first study, elevated lead levels were found in children in Oker and Harlingerode. (23.11.2022) more

A hand sorts many blood samples on a shelf.  © picture alliance / dpa Photo: Oliver Killig

This is the result of a report presented by the district. The cadmium load is also increased. (03/30/2022) more

A joint administration building of Norzinco GmbH and Harz-Metall GmbH on the former zinc works in Harlingerode.  © Creative Commons Attribution-Share Allike 3.0 Unported Photo: Matthias Becker

The state health department wants to have the residents of Oker, Göttingerode and Harlingerode checked for heavy metals. The reason for this is possible environmental pollution from zinc works. (02.11.2021) more

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Regional Braunschweig | 03/28/2023 | 8:30 a.m

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