Lead, the toxic metal known to be harmful to man, has been
sneaking unoticed into the bloodstreams of millions of Americans
over many years. It seeps insidiously into our water risking the
lives of our unborn and our children, often going unnoticed
until it's too late. It enters our homes on the feet of every
occupant, picked up from the soil outside. It can cover the
work clothes of mechanics, plumbers, lead smelter workers, and
other high risk occupations. The same clothes that we wash
along with our children's clothes, unknowingly endangering them.
Lead is an invisible enemy, often in the form of simple dust
that enters our home. Dust that can be both inhaled or ingested
especially by young children who tend to put everything in their
In other words lead poisoning is still a very real threat
present in our environment, damaging the brains and nervous
system of many of it's victims, the majority of which are
Of great concern is our water supply. The EPA (Environmental
Protection Agency) estimates that about forty two million
Americans use household water that contains unsafe levels of
lead. Precisely, levels in excess of 15 ppb (parts per
billion), which is the highest recommended safety level.
However, there is no truly safe level of lead, because it does
not belong in the human body, and it does not leave our bodies
once it has entered. Instead, it is stored just like calcium and
other minerals in the bone matter where it continues to build up
over our lifetime.
It's no wonder that as many as one out of eleven children in
the United States have dangerously high levels of lead in their
bloodstream according to the EPA. Some other sources suggest
this number is as great as one in eight children!
As hard as this is to believe, the facts are very real. Lead
is decreasing the I.Q.'s of many young victims, creating
learning disabilities, such as speech and behavior problems, not
to mention hearing loss, muscular coordination problems, and
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that regular lead
screening should be done on children up to age six, with the
first test done between six to twelve months of age. However,
it has been my personal experience that Pediatricians are not
routinely checking for lead in children. Certainly none have
ever suggested it to me, and my children have seen a dozen
different Pediatrician's over the years.
It appears that few people really believe their families are at
risk and feel their homes are safe. The reality is however,
that your home's water probably does contain lead in some
amount, and in fact, an estimated 10 million children receive
significantly high amounts of lead in their drinking water in
our country every day.
Following are some other common sources of lead:
foreign made crayons
water pipe corrosion
water pipe solder
Today experts regard soldering as the major cause of lead
contamination of household water in U.S. homes. New brass
faucets and fittings can also leach lead during corrosion, even
though they claim to be "lead free."
It's sad to note that the newer the home, the greater the risk
of lead contamination. Why? Because normally, as time passes,
mineral deposits form a coating on the inside of water pipes,
(if the water is not corrosive.) This coating insulates the
water from the lead-containing solder present. But during the
first five years, before the coating forms, water is in direct
contact with the lead and carries it into your home.
Some recent studies suggest that food is our main source of
adult human exposure with as much as 60% of total ingested lead
coming from the food we eat, air inhalation accounting for 30%,
and water for 10%.
Children, pregnant women, and calcium deficient individuals are
in the greatest risk group for lead toxicity. What's
frightening to realize is that dangerously high levels of lead
do not necessarily present any symptoms in children. So it's no
surprise few Physicians or parents ever suspect lead toxicity in
It's also interesting to note that many of the symptoms of
ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), mimic those of
lead toxicity. I can't help but wonder how many children
diagnosed with this disease may actually be lead toxic instead.
Take a look at the symptoms that may or may not present
behavior and learning problems
brain and nervous system damage
earing and speech problems
lack of muscular coordination
difficulty during pregnancy, such as miscarriage, etc.
reproductive problems (men and women)
high blood pressure
muscle and joint pain
memory and concentration problems
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