August 5th, 2011
Lead poisoning has long been associated with children eating paint chips off of a dirty windowsill that has been painted with a lead-based paint. Humans are exposed to lead mostly through drinking water, airborne particles or through lead-based paints. Drinking water can be contaminated with lead by the use of lead-based plumbing materials. When these materials break down it leads to increased concentration of lead particles in municipal drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency actually allows for a certain amount of lead to be present in our drinking water because of this problem.
Lead particles can also contaminate our bodies through cigarette smoke. Of all of the natural elements on Earth, lead is one of the most toxic and dangerous to humans. If a person is exposed to high concentrations of lead it can lead to irreversible brain damage, seizures, comas, or even death if it is not taken care of immediately. Some of the telltale signs that a person may have lead poisoning are fatigue, memory loss, irritability, reduction in motor skills, problems with concentration and decision making. People who have been continually exposed to lead through their jobs tend to have higher blood pressure and are at a greater risk for strokes and cardiovascular disease. Other signs of high concentrations of lead in your system are cramps, abdominal pain, anorexia, constipation, weight loss, and problems with the liver or kidneys.
Exposure to lead in young children is more problematic that exposure to lead as an adult. Physical growth is impaired as well as their cognitive development. Children can suffer hearing impairment as well as hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder if they are exposed to high levels of lead in their bodies. Children tend to absorb lead more easily than adults do. Lead poisoning in adult women may result in fertility problems or miscarriages.
If a pregnant woman is exposed to high levels of lead it can flow through the placenta resulting in premature births or smaller birth weights. In men, high levels of lead can lead to cataracts and a more rapid mental decline. Lead poisoning can cause serious damage to the brain and central nervous system. It can also affect the blood, kidneys and your digestive system. Lead is absorbed more easily if you have an empty stomach. Taking vitamins like C, E and B1 will help defend against lead absorption.
(To Be Continued)