Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Beware of Lead Poisoning

Cumulative poisoning affects the brain, the nervous system, the blood, and the abdominal system characterized by severe stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, weakness and confusion combined with decreased alertness.
Dr Abe V Rotor

Be sure toys are Lead-free.
1. Slow lead (Pb) poisoning, the case of the sickly little boy.

Here is a case of slow lead poisoning. There was this sickly boy of five, and the kindly old family doctor was puzzled of his condition. One fine Sunday morning the doctor happened to drop at the boy’s residence. While having coffee with the family the doctor exclaimed, “Ah, now I know why my young patient is sickly!”  It was like Archimedes who got out of the bathtub shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!” (I found it, I found it) He pointed at the gold lining on the rim of his coffee cup which has faded. It means that the user has been slowly taking in the poisonous lead in the gold paint! On inspecting the other china the doctor found the same revealing condition.

Lead is generally used to fix many kinds of paints. For years lead is mixed with gasoline to improve combustion and reduce engine knock. Today the use of lead is strictly regulated all over the world. When buying paints for school use or as house paint, be sure to get one with a lead-free label. Use only unleaded gasoline. And fix that crumbling wall.

2. Mass lead poisoning stakes the cities.

Lead in china wares and glazed items
As people move from the countryside to live in cities, among the risks they encounter is lead poisoning. Our old folks seldom suffered from this malady because they were living in a more pristine environment, and technology then was not as developed as it is today.

The first case of mass lead poisoning occurred among the Romans when they changed their cups and vessels from bronze to lead. Today it is estimated that over 400,000 children in the US have an excess of lead in their systems. This cumulative poisoning affects the brain, the nervous system, the blood, and the abdominal system characterized by severe stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, weakness and confusion combined with decreased alertness. Lead in the bone marrow interferes with the formation of red blood cells as well as damaging existing ones leading to anemia, pallor and weakness, and to a severe extent, delirium, coma and even death.

Apparently lead is associated with the Good Life. Avoid the following to get rid or at least minimize intake of lead.

• Automobile exhaust fumes

• Industrial wastes and air pollutants

• Paint of toys, walls, and windowsill

• Eating food or liquor prepared in lead containers

• Prolonged job contact with lead paints, batteries, solder.

• Eating food tainted with lead passed on through the food chain. Kangkong (Ipomea aquatica) has high lead residue. Fish liver contains lead more than any part of its body. ~


Lead Poisoning Symptoms and causes

(Acknowledgement) By Mayo Clinic Staff Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.

Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children include:
· Developmental delay
· Learning difficulties
· Irritability
· Loss of appetite
· Weight loss
· Sluggishness and fatigue
· Abdominal pain
· Vomiting
· Constipation
· Hearing loss
· Seizures
· Eating things, such as paint chips, that aren't food (pica)

Lead poisoning symptoms in newborns
Babies exposed to lead before birth might:
· Be born prematurely
· Have lower birth weight
· Have slowed growth

Lead poisoning symptoms in adults
Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults might include:
· High blood pressure
· Joint and muscle pain
· Difficulties with memory or concentration
· Headache
· Abdominal pain
· Mood disorders
· Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
· Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women

Lead is a metal that occurs naturally in the earth's crust, but human activity — mining, burning fossil fuels and manufacturing — has caused it to become more widespread. Lead was also once used in paint and gasoline and is still used in batteries, solder, pipes, pottery, roofing materials and some cosmetics. 

 Lead in batteries 
Lead in paint
Lead-based paints for homes, children's toys and household furniture have been banned in the United States since 1978. But lead-based paint is still on walls and woodwork in many older homes and apartments. Most lead poisoning in children results from eating chips of deteriorating lead-based paint.

Water pipes and imported canned goods
Lead pipes, brass plumbing fixtures and copper pipes soldered with lead can release lead particles into tap water. Lead solder in food cans, banned in the United States, is still used in some countries.

Other sources of lead exposure
Lead sometimes can also be found in:
· Soil. Lead particles from leaded gasoline or paint settle on soil and can last years. Lead-contaminated soil is still a major problem around highways and in some urban settings. Some soil close to walls of older houses contains lead.
· Household dust. Household dust can contain lead from lead paint chips or from contaminated soil brought in from outside.
· Pottery. Glazes found on some ceramics, china and porcelain can contain lead that can leach into food served or stored in the pottery.
· Toys. Lead is sometimes found in toys and other products produced abroad.
· Cosmetics. Tiro, an eye cosmetic from Nigeria, has been linked to lead poisoning.
· Herbal or folk remedies. Lead poisoning has been linked to greta and azarcon, traditional Hispanic medicines, as well as some from India, China and other countries.
· Mexican candy. Tamarind, an ingredient used in some candies made in Mexico, might contain lead.
· Lead bullets. Time spent at firing ranges can lead to exposure.
· Occupations. People are exposed to lead and can bring it home on their clothes when they work in auto repair, mining, pipe fitting, battery manufacturing, painting, construction and certain other fields.
Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of lead poisoning include:
· Age. Infants and young children are more likely to be exposed to lead than are older children. They might chew paint that flakes off walls and woodwork, and their hands can be contaminated with lead dust. Young children also absorb lead more easily, and it's more harmful for them than it is for adults and older children. 

Excavated lead pipe, suspected to be the cause of lead poisoning, unknown to the Romans as the cause of a "mysterious" disease.

· Living in an older home. Although the use of lead-based paints has been banned since the 1970s, older homes and buildings often retain remnants of this paint. People renovating an older home are at even higher risk.
· Certain hobbies. Making stained glass and some jewelry requires the use of lead solder. 

Refinishing old furniture might put you in contact with layers of lead paint. 
· Living in developing countries. Developing countries often have less strict rules regarding exposure to lead than do developed countries. American families who adopt a child from another country might want to have the child's blood tested for lead poisoning. Immigrant and refugee children also should be tested. 

Lead poisoning blood cells

Lead can harm an unborn child, so pregnant women or women likely to become pregnant should be especially careful to avoid exposure to lead.
Complications Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause damage over time, especially in children. The greatest risk is to brain development, where irreversible damage can occur. Higher levels can damage the kidneys and nervous system in both children and adults. Very high lead levels may cause seizures, unconsciousness and death. ~


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