Lead Poisoning in Children
"Lead is an incredibly dangerous heavy metal with no known beneficial use in the body. It mimics calcium, affecting all calcium-dependent biological processes, and is known to disturb the cardiovascular, renal, endocrine, and nervous systems. In children, the brain is the most sensitive target, as the blood brain barrier is less effective in children than in adults, potentially causing developmental delays even at low levels of exposure...."
By far the most useful of tests for historic exposure to toxins like lead is the ICL Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA).
This is because the body will do everything in its powers to get the contaminant out of circulation as quickly as possible. The body does this by excreting the toxin via the urine and bile and, to a lesser extent via the hair, skin, nails and by sweating. What the body can not get rid of within the first few days of exposure ends up being sequestered deep in the body where it may remain for years, even decades.
I liken lead to being like rust in the chassis of your car: you can not see it or feel it but it is silently destroying your cherished vehicle. By the time you can see it the wheels are ready to fall off! The same is happening with lead in your body - or that of your child.
Using the HTMA I have been able to detect the lead in a man over 50 years old who used to load his slug gun as a teenager by holding the lead pellets in his mouth. His health history was consistent with the symptoms of chronic lead contamination.
Why lead is so bad for the brain, joints and bones
Lead is "osteophilic" and "lipophilic", which means that it is attracted to bone and fat, hence one reason why it is so toxic on the brain which has a high level of fat and why long term symptoms of historic lead exposure includes osteoporosis and joint degeneration.
Lead Toxicity is still common in New Zealand Children
Yes, disturbing but true.
These children will present with a variety of symptoms that are associated with lead:
Hyperactivity (ADHD etc)
Chronic viral infections
Skin conditions such as eczema
Joint and bone pain ('Growing Pains")
The chart below is from the HTMA report for a two year old with health issues, including hyperactivity and eczema. These kinds of HTMA findings are disturbingly common and cause for alarm.
You will note that lead is way off the chart. Note, as well, the suppression of calcium and magnesium. The elevation of sodium and potassium is a stress response which is hardly surprising. The result is devastating for the child and family as a whole.
"You are wasting their time and money, Gary!"
What is as disturbing as the high levels of lead in these children, is that the efforts of the parents to clean their child of this toxin are more often than not undermined by highly persuasive health professionals who seem to think that all the poor child needs is more medication to control their behaviour!
Do not be complacent just because lead is no longer in our petrol; there is still plenty of lead getting into our environment from a multitude of sources, yet there is little real interest from officials, other than low level monitoring of things like imported paints and cosmetics.
Some surprising sources of lead contamination:
Bathtubs and children's face paint
My advice to parents is to ignore the ill-informed nay-sayers and get on with the job while their child's brain is still developing and while there is still a good chance of undoing most of the damage.
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