Several young victims of Gansu smelter emissions will be permanently affected, say doctors At least four children suffering from high levels of lead in their blood as a result of a mass poisoning incident in Gansu will suffer permanent brain damage. Three are still waiting for treatment. The children, including one 14-month-old boy, have severe lead poisoning, with some victims having more than 450 milligrams of lead per litre of blood. Zhang Guocheng, director of paediatrics at Xian's Xijing Hospital said the children were likely to suffer from low intelligence or slower development of intelligence. 'Children with high levels of lead poisoning are likely to have low intelligence. If the level is higher than 700 milligrams of lead per litre of blood they might show obvious symptoms of brain diseases such as coma or sudden fainting,' he said. Sun Xin, the hospital's paediatrician in charge, said a child's intelligence quotient would drop 5 to 10 points on average for every 100 milligrams of lead in one litre of blood. Their physical growth would also be stunted. 'Lead poisoning will damage multiple systems in children's bodies. The damages are irreversible to an extent,' Dr Sun said. But three of the children are still waiting for a treatment plan because they are too young or are suffering from other diseases. Zhou Hao , the five-year-old boy whose blood test triggered exposure of the mass poisoning, is lying in bed at home without any treatment, although the lead levels in his blood is five times the normal level - which is less than 100 milligrams of lead per litre of blood. 'Doctors said they could not get the lead out of his body without draining my son's body of nutrients,' said Hao's father, Zhou Yongjie. 'They said my son was too little to withstand that. 'They said the lead will affect my son's intelligence. It will also damage his liver. We are very worried but we don't have money. All we can do is wait.' He was hoping some health experts rumoured to be arriving from Beijing in a week would come up with a cheap plan to treat his son. Bai Xu, who is only 14 months old but has a lead level six times the acceptable amount, cannot take any treatment because of a heart disease. Wang Yaru, a four-year-old girl with a lead level four times more than normal, cannot be treated because her windpipe is inflamed. Xinhua said the mass poisoning - caused by a smelting plant that emitted 800 times more lead than was acceptable - inflicted medium to severe lead poisoning on at least 334 people, mostly children. Bao Fuzhen, director of the Gansu Disease Control Centre's occupational disease division, said 269 children under 14 were being treated with vitamins in Hui county. He said they had lead levels two to four times the normal level in their blood, classified as medium poisoning. He said they were in stable condition and did not have obvious symptoms of damage. 'Some of them might get back to a normal lead level after two weeks of treatment,' he said.