Lead is a highly toxic substance,
exposure to which can produce a wide range of adverse health effects. Both
adults and children can suffer from the effects of lead poisoning, but childhood
lead poisoning is much more frequent.
Where is lead found?
Lead Dust from peeling paint, burning painted
wood, and home renovations
Lead-Based Paint from older homes, older
furniture, and painted toys
Lead-based paint is a
hazard if it is peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking. The older your home
is, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint.
Lead in drinking water from lead pipes and
solder in home plumbing.
sources. Lead can leach
into food or beverages stored in imported ceramics or pottery and leaded
crystal and china.
Certain hobbies use products
with lead in them (fishing sinkers, stained glass, ceramics). Lead can
be found in some folk remedies, "health foods" and cosmetics.
Lead in Candy:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is
aware of a problem associated with lead contamination of some Mexican candy
products being sold in the United States or brought in from Mexico.
Parents should not allow children to eat these products.
FDA has compiled information which
indicates that candies and related products that contain significant amounts of
chili powder may contain higher lead levels than other types of candy, such as
candy that contains predominantly sugar. Examples of chili containing products
include lollipops coated with chili and powdery mixtures of salt, lemon flavor
and chili seasoning sold as a snack item.
In addition, tamarind, a popular Mexican
candy item, can become contaminated with lead if it is sold in poorly made
glazed ceramic vessels that release lead from the glaze into the candy.
The FDA is taking action to reduce the
risk of potential exposure of children to lead from these candy products. FDA
believes that contamination of chili powder may be occurring at certain steps in
the manufacturing process.
Lead in Traditional
Some medicines from Mexico were found it
have lead in them. Foreign cold medicines: Azarcon 93.5%, lead level (also
Rueda, Coral, Alarcon, Liga, Maria Luisa) and Greta (yellow powder) used to
treat Empacho (vomiting and colic) has a 97% lead level.
What are the health
Young children: There are many
different health effects associated with elevated blood lead levels. Young
children under the age of six are especially vulnerable to lead's harmful
health effects, because their brains and central nervous system are still
being formed. For them, even very low levels of exposure can result in:
attention deficit disorders
At high levels of exposure, a child may
become mentally retarded, fall into a coma, and even die from lead poisoning.
Adults: In adults, lead can:
increase blood pressure and cause
nerve disorders, muscle and joint
memory or concentration problems.
It takes a significantly greater level
of exposure of lead for adults than it does for kids to sustain adverse health
When a pregnant woman has an elevated
blood lead level, that lead can easily be transferred to the fetus, as lead
crosses the placenta.
Common symptoms of lead poisoning in children:
Common symptoms of lead poisoning in adults:
High blood pressure
Wrist or food weakness
Symptoms are not usually obvious.
The only way to determine if your child has been exposed to lead is by having
your child tested.
1. Which of the following is a source of lead?
d. All of
2. Which of the following groups is more
vulnerable to lead poisoning?
c. Pregnant Women
What are some simple steps to prevent of reduce exposure to lead?
Some pottery may contain lead that can leach
into food and drinks. Avoid eating off any colorfully painted ceramic plates,
and avoid drinking from any ceramic mugs unless you know they do not leach lead.
This is particularly important if the pottery was made in Mexico or another
Latin America country. Generally, pottery made in the US, in Canada, or in
Western Europe tends to be safe.
Wash your child's
Use cold water for
drinking, cooking or making baby formula. Let it run for 2 minutes
before using to reduce lead from pipes.
Stop your child from
eating paint chips, and placing hands or toys in their mouth.
Wet mop daily using a
powered dishwashing detergent.
Cover cracking or
flaking surfaces with a cloth or contact paper until the paint can be removed
from a professional permanently. Don't remove lead paint
Get your child tested
for lead poisoning. It's the only way to know.
Store foods in
plastic or glass containers, not opened metal cans.
meals that are high in iron and calcium and low in fat!