Lead Exposure and Toxicity
Lead is an insidious environmental toxin that is present in all parts of the environment.
Although lead exposure generally occurs through ingestion of contaminated food or water, lead inhalation also contributes to a potentially dangerous “body burden.”
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):
- Children of all races and ethnic origins are at risk of lead toxicity throughout the U.S.
- Lead may cause irreversible neurological damage as well as renal disease, cardiovascular effects, and reproductive toxicity.
- Blood levels once considered safe are now considered hazardous, with no known threshold.
Unfortunately, lead may contaminate water or food, but cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. Atmospheric lead may cause deposits into leafy and root vegetables.
Although banned from use in consumer paint since 1977, lead paint is still the most widespread source of lead exposure in U.S. children.
It is estimated that 85% of all homes built before 1978 still have lead paint in them (Centers for Disease Control, 1997), and homes built before 1986 are likely to have lead pipes, fixtures, and solder.
Certain “natural” calcium supplements, as well as some Asian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern natural remedies and cosmetics may contain lead.
Glazed pottery—especially if imported—is often overlooked as sources of lead exposure when used to store or serve food or water.
Once in the environment lead is not easily removed, and boiling water will not remove lead.
The effects of lead may be subtle. In children, the effects of lead on the brain and nervous system have been documented at exposure levels once thought to be safe (<10 micrograms/deciliter).
Lead exposure in children has been associated with:
- Learning disabilities
- Low IQ
- Hearing impairment
Severe exposure can cause seizures, hyperirritability, coma, and death.
Once absorbed into the body, lead may be stored for long periods in mineralized tissue such as teeth or bones, and then released back into the bloodstream during pregnancy or with osteoporosis at an older age.
Pregnant women with elevated lead levels have an increased chance of miscarriage, stillbirth, and low birth weight babies.
In adults, lead exposure and toxicity may have more subtle effects, including:
- Decreased libido
- Poor memory
However, with more severe exposure renal (kidney) damage, high blood pressure, anemia, heart problems, and infertility may result.
What can one do about lead exposure? Certainly, avoidance of sources of lead exposure and environmental intervention to remove those sources would be prudent.
But given widespread environmental pollution, it is almost impossible to avoid or prevent all sources of lead exposure.
In severe toxicity, treatment may require the injection of chelating agents such as EDTA or BAL (British antilewisite), amongst others with the potential of very significant and potentially dangerous side effects.
What if there was a product that binds and removes heavy metals such as lead from the body, and what if this product is safe and easy to use? (learn more)
Pure Body, from Touchstone Essentials, contains the natural zeolite mineral Clinoptilolite. Zeolites are negatively-charged minerals which have the ability to bind heavy metals and other toxins. Then they remove those toxins safely from the body—primarily through the kidneys.
The zeolite in Pure Body is small enough to be readily absorbed into the body, thus able to detoxify our bodies at the cellular level. Some also remain in the intestinal tract, where it can bind and deactivate toxins which we ingest in food or water.
Alex Lee, M.D.
Dr. Alex Lee is board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA. A tireless advocate for the benefits of preventing many of the chronic diseases he sees all too often in his patients, Dr. Lee encourages a healthy diet and lifestyle choices. He also uses and recommends the products of Touchstone Essentials as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only. The views expressed are those of Dr. Lee. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and any products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.