Lead Poisoning - Tips to Avoid Exposure to Lead

Lead poisoning is harmful, extremely hazardous and can be contracted in many ways. Lead poisoning is a result of exposure to lead in the environment. Lead poisoning is frequently in the news, with children's toy recalls that leave worried parents speculating about the dangers of heavy metal exposure to their kids.

But lead paint and lead poison is especially dangerous for women, who run the risk of passing dangerous lead exposure on to developing fetuses while pregnant. Lead poison is especially acute for pregnant women or young children because of their fast growing vulnerable tissue.

Poisoning from lead is real, and it is affecting our society in ways we are just beginning to understand. It is particularly harmful to the mental development of children.

It can have debilitating long-term effects, such as decreased bone and muscle growth, poor muscle coordination, damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and hearing and speech and language problems.

Lead poisoning is very common and is now being linked to poor performance in schools, damaging the ability of children to learn. Lead poisoning is the leading environmentally induced illness in children and a high percentage of children under five years have lead levels equal or greater to the levels experts consider to be dangerous.

The current medical definition of lead poisoning is 10 micrograms or greater per one-tenth of a liter of blood. When lead poisoning is severe, symptoms can include digestive problems, fatigue and headaches, mood and personality changes, difficulty concentrating and memory loss.

Lead poisoning is permanent damage. Once lead accumulates in the body, it remains there for life. The most common source for lead poisoning is caused by deteriorating lead-based paint on older windows, doors and trim, or walls or through improper renovation, repair and painting activities that cause paint to chip, peel, or flake.

Lead poisoning is a silent killer. It is an important health issue for children all around the world.

Prevention is therefore much better than treatment when it comes to lead poisoning. These are simple tips you can take to avoid exposure to lead.

1. Make sure children's hands are clean before they eat.

2. Have your water tested to ensure a safe level of lead and other minerals. You can contact your local health department to buy a kit for testing impurities in your water.

3. Never use the first water from your tap in the morning. Let it run for at least 5 minutes before you use it. It is best to use only steamed distilled, filtered, ddionized
water for drinking and cooking.

If safe drinking water is not available, treat water with grapefruit seed extract before using it. Grapefruit seeds extract is available from any health food store. Add 10 drops of extract per gallon of water and shake or stir vigorously.

4. Never over boil water. Five minutes is enough. Boiling water longer than necessary concentrates contaminants in water including lead.

5. Keep painted surfaces in good repair, so that older layers of paint are not exposed, chipping or peeling. Hire a professional to remove lead-based paint from any surface. It can poison human by burning or scrapping layers of paint. Do not allow children to eat paint chips.

6. Do not buy food in cans sealed with lead solder which leaches into food. If you buy canned foods, look for lead-free cans that have no side seam.

7. Do not store alcoholic beverages, acidic foods, vinegar, fruit juices and foods made with tomatoes based in lead crystal glassware for any length of time. The lead that gives fine crystal its sparkle and brilliance leaches into foods and beverages served or stored in it,

8. If you are pregnant, avoid drinking hot beverages from lead-glazed ceramic cups or mugs. Babies and children should not be fed from crystal dishes and glassware at all.

9. If you drink wine, always wipe the mouth of the bottle well with a damp cloth before pouring the wine. The foil wrappers around the corks of wine bottles can deposit leads around the mouth of the bottle and contaminate the wine.

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