Doctor of Philosophy in physical chemistry Svetlana Stanisic has said that lead concentrations found in Serbian children's blood is 2.4 micrograms per deciliter, which is among the highest in Europe and produces the most severe consequences for the nervous system.
"A decline in intelligence may occur, children suffer from an attention deficit and have all the symptoms that appear in relation to the central nervous system," Stanisic told the May 27 issue of daily Nova.
She pointed out that, besides children, pregnant women were also at risk because heavy metals penetrated fetal tissue and negatively affected brain development.
"Once lead goes into the atmosphere, it never goes away. It is the worst in parts of Serbia where smelters and lead mines are located," said Stanisic.
She added that adults did not exhibit symptoms of lead poisoning, rather only suffered a heart attack or stroke.