Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Dangers of Lead Toxicity

EPA Info Graphic

The use of lead paint has been banned for many years, and the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990 banned the sale of leaded gasoline. But lead continues to exist as a toxic hazard in the environment.

Lead is a naturally-occurring element which has been employed in mining, manufacturing, fossil fuels, and the production of batteries, ammunition, metal products like solder and pipes, paint, ceramics, caulking, crystal, stained glass, and x-ray shields.

Lead is NOT biodegradable. It clings to soil particles and can be found in air and water.

Lead is considered a Group 2B toxic substance, which means it has the potential to cause cancer in humans.

In adults, lead exposure can cause damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and reproductive system.

Lead's greatest threat, however, is to children. Premature births, low birth weight, learning disabilities, anemia, stomach ache, muscle weakness, brain damage, low I.Q., and growth retardation have all been associated with high blood levels of lead.

The CDC recommended in 1991 that all children between the ages of 9 and 72 months be screened for lead poisoning.

In Arizona, laboratories and healthcare providers are required to report cases of lead toxicity to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

If you live or work in a structure built before 1960, chances are good that it was painted with lead-based paint. According to ADHS statistics, approximately 13-26% of buildings built in the older populated areas of Mohave County were built prior to 1960.

The ADHS has also compiled a list of zip codes which are considered high risk areas for lead poisoning. Oatman, Yucca, and Valentine are the targeted high-risk areas in Mohave County.

The ADHS recommends that children in high-risk areas be screened at 12 and 24 months of age. Children between the ages of 36 and 72 months should also be screened if they have never been tested. 

Feeding children a diet rich in calcium and iron can help reduce their risk of developing lead-related health problems.

Dawn Pisturino
March 3, 2007
Copyright 2007-2019 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved. 

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