We’ve known for years that lead seriously impairs early childhood development. Now scientists are finding that our kids’ brains are at risk from a barrage of other common chemicals. (Harlem 11/25/2013)
Lead is a cumulative protoplasmic poison that may be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed directly through the skin. Toxic effects are categorized as gastrointestinal, central nervous system, neuromuscular, hematologic, renal, or constitutional. Common symptoms include constipation, anorexia, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, and a characteristic peripheral neuropathy (wrist drop). Severe poisoning may lead to nephropathy, encephalopathy, convulsions, and even death.
Lead poisoning may result from occupational exposure (mining, smelters, sheet metal, battery manufacture, automobile radiator repair, demolition work, alloys, and metal plating). Poisoning may also occur subsequent to exposure to leaded containers, lead clay, glazed pottery, solder, paints, and bullets (wound).
Infants and children aged 9 months to 6 years are particularly susceptible to the effects of lead due to greater gastrointestinal absorption. Lead exposure can lead to irreversible IQ deficits, poor academic achievement, reduced attention span, and hyperactivity.
Atomic absorption spectrometry
No safe blood level in children has been identified. Consequently, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has adopted a cutpoint of 5 μg/dL as the trigger for follow-up in children (Table).1
Table. Recommended Follow-up for Various Blood Lead Levels
Blood Lead (μg/dL)
5 - 14 Nutritional and environmental education
Follow-up blood lead monitoring
15 - 19 Nutritional and environmental education
Follow-up blood lead monitoring; if level rises or if level stays within this range
≥3 months later, see follow-up for 20 - 44 μg/dL levels
20 - 44 Environmental evaluation and remediation and a medical evaluation; medical intervention may be needed
45 - 69 Medical and environmental interventions including chelation therapy
≥70 Medical emergency treatment
Worker / Occupant Safety & Lead Poisoning
According to the US EPA: Even very small amounts of lead can be hazardous; the amount of lead that could be contained in a sugar packet is enough to contaminate a 1,500 sf home.
IN OLDER COMMUNITIES LEAD REMAINS A HEALTH HAZARD IN THE FORM OF BOTH PIERCING BULLETS AND TOXIC LEAD PAINT DUST.
Monday, April 21, 2014
BP Alliance Lead Links & Articles of Interest:
1. Lowe's Fined $500,000 for Lead Paint Violations in 9 States
2. EPA Expands Oversight of the Lead-Paint Rule
3. MisLEAD: America's Secret Epidemic Trailer
4. Lead Poisoning
US EPA – Lead Program
US EPA – Learn About Lead
US EPA – Protect Your Family
US EPA – Renovate Right
US EPA – Small Entity Compliance Guide to Renovate Right
US EPA - Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Childcare Providers, & Schools
HUD – Healthy Homes, About Lead
HUD – Lead Fact Sheet
HUD – Lead Paint Safety Field Guide