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Facts about Lead Toxicity that you need to know

Facts about Lead Toxicity that you need to know

lead toxicity - flint Michigan

Did you know that Lead is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous system? Lead Toxicity interferes with a variety of everyday body processes. Routes of exposure to lead include air, water, soil, food, & consumer products. Here are some facts that you should know:

 

  1. Lead is HIGHLY toxic to children. Lead causes learning & behavioral problems that can often be permanent, since it hampers normal development of the nervous system.

 

  1. Bathing, showering and washing items in lead contaminated water is a route of toxic exposure. There is NO safe minimum exposure level. Even the smallest amount can be highly toxic.

 

  1. Signs of lead toxicity include stomach pain, confusion, headaches, irritability and anemia. Very high lead exposures can cause seizures, coma, and death.

 

  1. Lead detected in blood only indicates how much is circulating throughout your body. It does not indicate how much lead your body is storing.

 

  1. Chelation therapy is used to bind to lead and remove it from the body. This therapy can be effective if the source of lead contamination is removed permanently. Chelation is particularly difficult if brain encephalopathy has occurred.

 

  1. The presence of toxic amounts of lead can be detected in blood and bone tests.

 

  1. Micronutrients matter: Studies suggest that low intake of vitamin D may increase accumulation of lead in bones. Low intake of vitamin C and iron may increase lead levels in blood (of middle-aged to elderly).

 

  1. Micronutrients matter: Suggestive data has shown that calcium and iron deficiency in children lead to increased lead absorption.

 

  1. Once treated for lead poisoning, all patients require extensive follow-up in order to monitor lead levels long term.

 

  1. How toxic lead will be depends on how much the body absorbs. Lead absorption is dependent on several the physical form of lead, the size of lead particles ingested, the amount of time that the lead travels along the GI tract, and the nutritional status of the exposed person.

 

  1. People who are malnourished, including those that consume a micronutrient poor diet are more likely to absorb higher amounts of lead.

 

  1. Nutrition matters: Lead absorption is dependent on several the physical form of lead, the size of lead particles ingested, the amount of time that the lead travels along the GI tract, and the nutritional status of the exposed person.

 

  1. Skin absorption of lead: Although inorganic lead is not absorbed through intact skin, organic lead compounds (ex. tetraethyl lead) are absorbed through the skin.

 

  1. Approximately 99% of the lead in blood is associated with red blood cells (RBCs) with the rest in blood plasma.

 

Dr. Noreen, Tox Doc

Dr. Noreen, Tox Doc

Dr. Noreen, also known as "The Tox Doc", is a toxicologist that specializes in environmental, space, food and nutritional toxicology. Her personal mission is to translate the language of science for non-scientists in order to educate and inform the public of critical issues that affect their health and quality of life.

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