Lead poisoning: the silence menace. Is your child safe? High levels of lead found in soil of homes and schools nearby Vernon plant in California.
Lead is one of deadliest heavy metals that commonly exist in lead-base paints (especially paints of homes built before 1978), furniture, car’s lead-acid batteries, air, fluorinated water, lead piping system (especially older homes), soil contaminated with lead, pesticides and chemicals, drugs, skincare products and cosmetics (many popular lipsticks have lead), imported wines, lead glassware, crystal dishes and canned foods.
Long term exposure to even small traces of lead can cause a wide range of health problems. Keep in mind that lead cannot be excreted though our digestive system and as a result, the organs in the body absorb lead directly from the blood and store lead along with other minerals including calcium in bones. The problem is that when lead is stored in the body, it dysfunctions important enzymes and essential minerals like sulfur and selenium that protect the body against free radicals.
Exposure to toxic levels of lead can cause a wide range of symptoms including muscle weakness, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, diarrhea, loss of appetite, memory problems, blindness, seizures, paralysis, mental retardation and even coma or death. Lead poisoning can also cause severe damage to kidneys, liver, heart and nervous system.
When lead enters the blood, the body cannot distinguish lead from calcium and it stores lead like calcium in bones. The body of pregnant women and small children absorbs more calcium and other toxic heavy metals including lead than other people. People who are calcium deficient are also more susceptible to lead poisoning than others.
Children born from women with high levels of lead toxicity are more likely to suffer mental retardation and nervous system disorder. According to Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the blood lead level of 1 million children under the age of 5 exceeds the acceptable level of lead.
Every year, CDC reduces the acceptable level of exposure to lead. Obviously, there is a limit on how much poison can be tested on human beings:
The governmental regulatory agencies have approved variety of herbicides, heavy metals, additives and toxic chemicals in our food and drinking water. They have even called the exposure to certain level of toxins within ‘Safety Limits’. But the reality cannot be any further from the truth, since there is NO SAFTEY LIMITS when it comes to toxic chemicals and heavy metals including lead, arsenic or mercury.
According to post-gazette.com, “In the 1960s, 60 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood was considered a dangerous reading for a child. In the 1970s, anything over 30 micrograms per deciliter was the official CDC definition for elevated childhood levels; in 1985 it dropped to 25, and in 1991 it dropped to 10. Last year, the CDC endorsed a recommendation to use a shifting definition that would be lowered every four years, stating it cannot pinpoint a particular level of lead that is "safe."
Research shows children who are exposed to lead-base paints, fluorinated water, or contaminated soil/water have higher level of lead in their blood:
According to a 2000 study published in the journal NeuroToxicology, children who live in homes that have older paints or piping system, or drink water treated with sodium silicofluoride or fluosilicic acid, also called silicofluorides (SiFs), have higher lead in their blood.
“Silicofluorides are used by over 90% of U.S. fluoridated towns and cities. Ironically, children with higher blood lead levels also have more tooth decay. So water fluoridation may prove to cause tooth decay rather than prevent it. This research is just another block stacked on a giant wall of evidence that proves fluoridation is neither safe nor effective -- no matter what fluoride chemical is used," says the leading author of the study, Professor Roger D. Masters, Ph.D.
Lead contamination in soil near Vernon battery recycling plant:
A recent research has found high levels of lead in soil of homes close to a battery recycling plant in Vernon, California. The result of soil samples from 39 different homes and two schools shows high level of lead contamination in the surrendering area. The plant in Vernon has been opened since 1920s and recycles 25,000 batteries a day. Last year, South Coast Air Quality Management District found that the arsenic emissions from Vernon recycling battery plant can increase the risk of cancer for 110,000 people who live nearby.
Pollution and lead poisoning are the main concern when it comes to children, pregnant women, and those with lower immune system. The residents of Vernon are warned to keep their children away from the contaminated soil and wash hands regularly.
"This is not an emergency situation, but we are still concerned and demanding that Exide take actions to protect public health," said Brian Johnson, deputy director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. "The first priority is those homes with kids and pregnant women."