blog

Click here to go back to Articles

UNDERSTANDING LEAD POISONING AND REDUCING EXPOSURE

Recent headlines have brought lead poisoning to the forefront, but there are more obscure ways that children are exposed to this toxin and other dangerous substances.

With the recent toy recalls from Mattel, concerned parents are forced to face the deadly consequences of exposing their children to lead poisoning.  Lead poisoning, even at levels that do not cause immediate symptoms, can permanently damage kids’ brains.

Besides toys and paint, there are other more obscure ways to be exposed to lead and other poisonous toxins including, mercury fillings, vaccines, hot dogs, ADHD drugs, and sports drinks.  To read more about these and other poisons, click this link

If you want to test the amount of lead in your child’s system, a simple blood test can do this and provide the results within two days.  It is recommended that every child be tested
at age 12 months and again at age 24 months -- with additional testing every six months if the child is at high risk of lead exposure.
Unfortunately, once a child has absorbed a dangerous amount of lead, there's no quick way to make the lead go away.
Children with dangerously high blood lead levels can be treated by chelation (pronounced key-LAY-shun). Chelation involves giving a child one of two drugs that quickly remove lead from the blood.
Chelation can save the life of a child with acute lead poisoning. But it does not remove all lead from the body. Most ingested lead is stored in the bones and leaches back into the bloodstream -- and brain -- over time.
Ultimately, the first thing to do is to have the child's pediatrician work with local health authorities to find and remove the source of lead poisoning.
Second, children with high lead levels must get a diet rich in calcium and iron. This helps prevent intestinal absorption of lead and speeds elimination of lead from the body.
For more details on understanding and treating lead poisoning, check out this link