Heavy Metals Poisoning; Lead Poisoning
Lead is large source of our heavy metals poisoning problems today. It’s virtually found everywhere. It’s found in chocolate, canned foods, newspapers, plastics, batteries, old paint, insecticides, pottery, ceramics, soldered pipes. This means with each glass of water we drink, and every shower or bath we take increases our lead poising exposure.
Lead accumulates in the brain, liver, bones, kidneys and spleen, where it has many adverse affects. But one more insidious than its toxic ability to alter behavior and lower intelligence. For each 30 µg of lead in our bloodstream, we can except a 10 pt decrease in our I.Q, while also experiencing a decreased ability to deal with change in social environments and situations.
As you’re well aware by now, Lead is a very prevalent source heavy metals poisoning and is very damaging to the cells. Even low levels of lead have been clearly linked to the increased incidence of cancer and heart disease. Paint manufacturers once used lead as a white pigment and drying agent, and the dust from it is a primary contaminant in people living in older homes. Lead impairs functioning of many organs, especially the kidneys, the liver, the heart, and the brain. Exposure of pregnant women and children between the ages of 1 and 6 can especially trigger devastating long-term mental health effects. Lead interferes with the functioning of the brains pre-frontal lobe, an area that controls impulsivity, long-range thinking and communication skills. Scientists feel that even low blood-lead levels (such as 5 µg per deciliter) can harm a child, including decreasing potential IQ. This condition can set the stage for future criminal behavior, since it stimulates impulsivity and aggression.
Lead poisoning in children inner cities
So heavy metals poisoning with lead poisoning not only causes extreme health problems, it has been connected to the many social problems we’re facing today. Consider the following information. Looking at lead poisoning in children in inner cities, we see an online newspaper article published out of Baltimore describing this young man of 22 who was serving a 35-year term for the gruesome murder of his uncle and had recently been charged with strangling a 16-year-old fellow inmate. A previous report listing several health conditions suffered by the young convict, Kevin G. Johns Jr., included lead poisoning.
There are many today who highlight the work of Dr. Herbert Needleman, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who was one of the first scientists to study the connection between lead poisoning and anti-social behavior. Dr. Needleman was concerned because mothers of children with high lead levels often complained about their children’s behavioral problems, including that of being aggressive and difficult to control.
Needleman’s initial research, conducted in 1979, found significant difference e in the lead levels with children who had attention or behavior problems. Next, he studies the correlation between heavy metals poisoning with lead poisoning in children inner cities and anti-social behavior. In testing the bone-lead levels of 194 children in the Allegheny County, Pa., juvenile justice system in 1998, he compared the convicted youths to a control group of 146 students living in the same county with no criminal record. He called these results quite startling because the convicted youths had lead levels 10 to 11 times higher than the control group. Needleman also added that “there is no doubt that lead affects important functions of controlling impulses, and I believe this relates to crime. Other research supports Dr. Needleman’s discovery that lead is linked to anti-social behavior. The article goes on to report that:
In 2001, scientists Paul Stretesky and Michael Lynch used federal data that measured lead levels in the air in 3,111 counties across the United States. Comparing the data to the homicide rates for the same counties, the scientists found that the counties with the highest rate of lead-air pollution had four times as many homicides than the counties with the lowest.
Lead poisoning risks in aging; re-exposure
Aging is now associated with increased risk for chronic, low=level re-exposure to lead poisoning because the vast majority of lead is sequestered in bone and dissolution of the bone matrix is a common problem with aging. Lead, released from the bone, where it is relatively inert, has far greater adverse effects when it is subsequently taken up by extreme vulnerable cells in the central and peripheral nervous system, heart and kidneys.