BANGALORE: “The future of lead’s impact on our society is alarming. With a policy plan to generate 12.3 giga-Watts of electricity from solar energy in India, we are on the verge of becoming the world capital of lead poisoning. Students and researchers will be facing challenges with opportunity in the days to come,” Dr Venkatesh Thuppil, Director, National Referral Centre For Lead Poisoning in India, said.
He was delivering guest lecture on ‘Translational Research and Lead Poisoning’ at a programme organised by the Department of Biochemistry at Rajarajeshwari Medical College.
“We have challenging years ahead. The years, starting from 2020, are crucial as native lead is becoming rare in nature. Currently lead is usually found in ore with zinc, silver and copper and it is extracted together with these metals. The main lead mineral in Galena (PbS) and there are also deposits of cerrussite and anglesite which are mined. Galena is mined in Australia, which produces 19 percent of the world’s new lead, followed by the USA, China, Peru and Canada. Some quantity is also being mined in Mexico and West Germany. The total production of new lead in the world is 6 million tonnes a year and workable reserves are estimated to be 85 million tonnes, which is less than 15 years’ supply,” he observed.
He maintained that National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India has come out with several projects to protect the environment from lead pollution with ‘a hope that awareness alone can prevent up to 60 per cent of the problem’.
Dr Thuppil encouraged students to come out in large numbers and take up as research activities on lead poisoning.