Health experts have said that lead present in noodles causes a slew of chronic diseases including high blood pressure, peripheral arterial disease and cardiovascular disease.

The caution comes days after the sale of Nestle’s popular noodle Maggi was banned in several states across the country including Delhi over the presence of high lead content.

They also said that the prolonged lead exposure leads to such a damage to the human body that is irreversible and in extreme cases can lead to mental retardation, epilepsy and learning problems.

"Lead when inhaled or eaten is absorbed via the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts and gets into the bloodstream and is occasionally absorbed through the skin. Initially there may be increased tiredness, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting and affect and slowly it starts affecting the kidney, heart, liver and even the brain," said S.S. Sibia, head of Sibia Medical Centre.

He said that there can be effect on the reproductive systems and increased chance of stillbirths, miscarriages and premature births.

The journal of American Heart Association reports that lead exposure may promote hardening of the arteries even at levels well below current safety standards.

Suggesting that some simple measures can help protect from lead poisoning, he said that all sorts of noodles should be initially boiled and the water be thrown before cooking the noodles finally and consuming it.

He also said that in case a person has already been affected by the adverse affects of lead, they can be removed by intravenous chelation therapy.

"The intravenous chelation therapy helps remove lead and some other toxins and heavy metals from the body. In chelation therapy, Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) medication binds with the lead to remove it from the body via urine," said Sibia.

Vaibhav Gupta of Institute of Preventive Heart Care said that chelation reduces the production of free radicals with its antioxidant activity and removes abnormally deposited calcium in arterial walls and thereby reduces atherosclerotic plaque formation.