Which test is best for assessing lead poisoning?
The highly toxic heavy metal lead, recently found in the drinking water supplying the residents of Waikouaiti, Karitane and Hawkesbury Village has, apparently resulted in no lasting health concerns. This is the conclusion of Southern District Health Board Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Jack, after reviewing the blood tests of over 400 residents. This conclusion is premature.
Confirmation of toxic metal exposure using a blood test may or may not reveal an elevated level. This is because of the protective response of the body, in which, following a toxic metal exposure, there is sequestration of the toxic element from the blood and stored in various other tissues. Unfortunately, this includes the brain. Therefore, if the exposure is not ongoing or chronic, elevated blood levels may not be present from several days after the last exposure.
To elaborate: Upon exposure and eventual distribution of heavy metals by the body into different soft tissue storage sites, some heavy metals can accumulate in nerve tissues, including the brain. As central nervous system toxins, they can adversely affect nerve conduction, neuro-transmitters, and neurological tissue. They do this by interfering with normal enzymes and cellular metabolic functions, and contributing to free radical production.
Lead exposure is still one of the most common environmental pollutants. It is antagonistic to nearly every nutrient mineral and contributes directly or indirectly to many mineral excesses or deficiencies. Early signs of lead accumulation may be vague and include symptoms such as fatigue, anemia, ataxia and poor coordination. Elevated levels of lead can contribute to suppression of the immune system, nephrosis, autism, cancer, stillbirths, dental decay, arthritis, osteoporosis and hypertension, to name a few conditions.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is the Gold Standard for assessing historical exposure to toxins such as lead, arsenic and cadmium. Hair, being an excretory pathway, becomes a record of toxins being mobilised and eliminated from the body during the time the hair was living tissue.
While various parties use HTMA with great enthusiasm for the detection of the historic consumption of prohibited substances such as "P" and "Dope", by employees, for some inexplicable reason, these same parties rubbish HTMA for detecting their polluting ways! Instead, they enthusiastically promote a blood test which everyone knows will produce a negative result just several days after the last exposure. Go figure!
Here is an example of how HTMA can detect lead, in this case years after the last known exposure. The article also shows the use of HTMA for monitoring detoxification:
I'm looking for residents of Waikouaiti, Karitane and Hawkesbury Village to do HTMA to confirm the absence or presence of lead in people's bodies. We are offering a special deal for residents of these townships to encourage participation. If you know anyone who lives in these townships, please ask them to contact me via this website. Thankyou.