Government statistics show
in the early 1990’s (1994), almost 1.7 MILLION
young children had excessively high blood levels of lead.
This is almost 9% of all preschool children in the U.S.!
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER (ADD) and HYPERACTIVITY have
been linked to lead exposure. It is considered very
dangerous both because it is so pervasive in our environment
and because, like radioisotopes, IT IS A CUMULATIVE
Unfortunately, early symptoms of lead
poisoning, such as nervousness, irritability, headaches,
fatigue and general weakness, muscular problems, constipation,
and indigestion, are hard to pinpoint as caused
by lead. As it continues to accumulate in our bodies,
lead creates widespread damage. Its chronic toxicity
has been implicated in a sweeping range of physical,
mental, and emotional disorders including convulsions,
tremors, visual disturbances, mental retardation, twitching
of face muscles, jerking of the limbs, to serious degenerative
diseases and insanity. For specific diseases associated
with lead, call for a copy of the Chart of Diseases
referred at the end of this article.
Dr. William Strain, director of the Trace Element Laboratory at Cleveland Metropolitan
General Hospital, calls lead pollution "the greatest neuro-toxin (a substance
that damages nerves) threat to mankind." Strain and several other noted
scientists cite ample evidence to indicate that lead was a factor that contributed
to the fall of both the Greece and Roman Empires. During their heyday, the Greeks
and Romans began to smelt and use lead in a variety of ways, which produced wide-ranging
and unmanageable physical and behavioral disorders throughout their populations.
According to Dr. Clair Patterson, a geochemist at the California Institute of
Technology and a leading lead researcher, the average American has more than
one hundred times as much lead in his or her blood as the average person did
before smelting began. The lead content of bones is now five hundred to one thousand
times higher. Although lead is now found throughout the world and already
affects everyone, inhabitants of industrialized nations contain six times the
amount of lead in their blood, as do inhabitants of remote areas.
Dr. Ellen K. Silbergeld of the U.S. National Institutes of Health reported
to scientists at this meeting, "We know that lead is one of the most
ubiquitous and persistent neurotoxins in the environment. The laboratory
evidence shows that adverse effects occur at very low levels, but the biochemical
bases of lead toxicity do not support the notion that there is any safe threshold
for lead exposure."
After testing 35,504 people, Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin, professor emeritus at the
University of Alabama, and Dr. Gary Gordon, Chairman of the Board of the American
Academy of Medical Preventics, concluded that more than 38 million Americans
are currently being slowly and silently poisoned by lead. According to Dr. J.
Blosser, one out of four American men and 10% of American women suffer from
lead poisoning. The percentage of women will increase as more enter the workplace,
with pregnant women especially at risk.
CHILDREN AND LEAD POISONING
Children are extremely vulnerable to lead because they absorb 30%
to 50% of ingested lead, whereas adults absorb 5% to 10%. According to Blosser,
more than 40% of all urban children in America have health problems due to
lead poisoning. Lead causes a wide range of disorders in children, including
nerve damage, brain dysfunction, skeletal retardation, and behavioral and
learning problems. (ADD)
In 1979 Dr. Herbert L. Needleman, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical
School, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that every child probably
to some degree is affected by lead, and that the threshold for safety has long
since been exceeded. The areas of behavior or learning disabilities that
Needleman correlated to lead absorption were: lack of ability to follow simple
directions and.sequences, lack of ability to organize, propensity for daydreaming,
distractibility and excitability, a degree of frustration tolerance, hyperactivity,
and impulsiveness, lack of ability for independent work and/or persistence
with a task, and in a general lack of being able to function well.
COMMON SOURCES OF LEAD POLLUTION
Lead can be both ingested and inhaled. Common sources of lead
pollution are the 1,300,000 to 1,400,000 tons of lead used annually to make
such products as solders, the anti-knock substance in leaded gasoline, batteries,
pottery, and pigments. Smelting, fabricating lead, and burning leaded gasoline exposes
workers to high lead levels, and releases more than 600,000 tons of lead
into our atmosphere each year, which we routinely inhale. We also ingest
it after it has settled on our food crops and in our water supply. Moreover,
as researcher L.R. Ember notes, "Food could also be contaminated by lead
from the solder in tin cans, pesticide sprays, and cooking utensils.
In older homes, where the plumbing consists of lead pipes and the water
is acidic and low in mineral content, lead may leach into the water supplies.
Weathering of lead-laden paint and putty in older homes contaminates
dust with lead, which can be inhaled or ingested; chipping, peeling, and flaking
paint in these homes may offer a child a tempting but dangerous morsel."
Patterson’s research group reports that the standard tin-plated can
containing food at a supermarket is sealed with solder that is 97 % lead.
Patterson states that whether the cans are varnished or not, the lead content
of foods in lead-soldered cans is consistently much higher than the lead content
of the same foods in fresh or frozen forms.
Exposure to cigarette smoke can significantly increase our daily intake
of lead as well as tobacco fertilizer.
Lead is not only absorbed through our air, food, and water, it is also absorbed
through our skin. Lead can be absorbed from many other sources. Lead and cadmium
are leached, especially with acidic foods such as tomatoes and fruit, from improperly
glazed ceramic food containers, dinnerware, and utensils. Consumption of alcohol allows
high levels of lead and other toxic heavy metals and chemicals to settle in
soft tissues, including the brain. Fruits and vegetables grown in roadside
gardens are likely to contain higher levels of lead than those grown further
from roads and highways.
GET THE LEAD OUT WITH NUTRITION
Although the risk of lead toxicity poses a serious threat to all citizens,
rich or poor, urban or rural, the good news is that fortunately there are several natural
remedies that have been documented as protecting against the toxic affects
of lead. Foods and their nutrients protect against radiated and chemical
toxins in a variety of ways. Many of the same nutrients counteract the
effects of lead, also through several different mechanisms. Some prevent or
at least decrease the absorption of lead; others remove lead from body tissues,
and some block lead from interfering with metabolic functions.
Lead competes with and replaces certain minerals, primarily zinc, iron, and
copper, when there is a deficiency of those vital nutrients. (This tendency
for the body to absorb similarly structured elements is referred to as "selective
Through the principle of selective uptake, optimal amounts of zinc, iron,
and copper, protect against the absorption of lead and remove it from the body.
Two other minerals calcium and chromium help to protect against lead toxicity. Calcium
has both a preventive and curative effect, and it helps to eliminate the pain
sometimes associated with lead toxicity. Optimal levels of calcium prevent
the absorption of lead from the intestinal tract. Deficiencies of calcium result
in higher levels of lead in the blood, bone, and soft tissues. In acute
cases of lead poisoning, calcium and vitamin D administered together either
orally or intravenously have effectively hastened recovery.
Vitamin A helps to activate enzymes that are involved in neutralizing lead
and other toxins.
The B vitamins, taken together as whole B-complex, protect against the toxic
effects of lead. Several health therapists have used additional mega
doses of vitamin B1 (thiamine) along with a high-potency.whole B-complex,
to counteract lead. Dr. G. R. Bratton of the University of Tennessee reported
that thiamine removed lead from body tissues and also reduced the symptoms
of lead toxicity. Daily dosages of addition B1 have ranged from 25 mg. To
100 mg. Together with high-potency whole B complex.
Vitamin C is a powerful anti-toxin. It neutralizes the toxic effects of
lead, increases the elimination of lead in general, and specifically protects
muscle tissue from lead damage. In order to protect against lead toxicity,
the recommended adult dosage range of vitamin C is 1,000 to 3,000 mg per
day. For acute lead poisoning, up to 10,000 mg. Per day of vitamin C can
The herb, Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), also counteracts
the side effects of lead, especially damage to conditioned nerve and muscular
GET THE LEAD OUT WITH DIET!
A diet that contains appropriate amounts of fiber has been shown
to protect against the toxic effects of lead. Algin, or sodium alginate,
is a form of fiber found abundantly in the family of sea vegetables known as kelp.
Algin is a natural chelating agent, one that can attach to the lead in the
intestinal tract and carry it harmlessly out of the body. Algin decreases lead
absorption as it increases lead elimination from the body.
Pectin, another form of fiber, performs the same functions. It is
found in sunflower seeds and just beneath the skin of apples. Pectin
can be obtained in the form of a food supplement at natural foods stores,
or as a jelling agent for jams, jellies, and preserve from some supermarkets.
Preliminary evidence indicates that a number of other foods and specific nutrients
help protect against lead. Legumes and beans, when used generously in
the diet, are considered to help eliminate lead from the body. Bee pollen,
one of the most nutrient-rich foods, helps protect against and detoxify from
Lecithin is another important detoxifier of poisons in the body. It
also protects and repairs the myelin sheaths of nerve fibers from damage
due to lead and other toxic chemicals and heavy metals. The sulfur-containing
amino acids cystein and methioine, found in the cabbage family of vegetables,
aid detoxification, as do other chlorophyll-rich vegetables.
In her book, Food & Behavior, Barbara Reed Stitt, a Chief Probation
Officer in the Municipal Courts of Ohio, relates how food has a direct effect
on behavior. She says, "Ask any hyperactive child, depressed, angry teenager,
violent adult or criminal what they eat and you’ll find they "live" on
junk food – sweetened boxed cereals, candy, carbonated drinks, potato
chips, fast foods. Junk food abuses the mind, under-nourishes the body and
distorts the behavior." She goes on to say, "that these toxins (lead
and cadmium in the blood) could cause emotional and behavioral disorders." Her informative
book with simple changes in the diet has helped thousands and is worth reading. Her
studies relating diet to criminal behavior is an eye-opener for everyone.
GET THE LEAD OUT WITH CHELATION!
In 1972, Dr. Oliver J. David, a child psychiatrist, and
his associates at the State University of New York Medical
School reported in Lancet, the prestigious British Medical
Journal, that there is a definite link between
lead absorption and hyperactive behavior in children. Four years later
David and his associates showed that lead-chelating agents successfully treated
hyperactive children with learning-disabilities whose blood and urine lead
levels were in a "nontoxic" range. Those levels were, however,
in the upper ranges of "normal". The children studied had no brain
damage or other apparent cause of their hyperactivity and learning disabilities
except for lead. Try our oral chelation
GET THE LEAD OUT WITH
SPECIAL CLAY BATHS!
We know now that there is a fun way for children (and
adults too) to GET THE LEAD OUT! That is by taking a specific
kind of clay bath. Lab
tests and hair analysis reveal that clients taking tests before and
after the LL Magnetic Clay baths show wonderful results in "pulling like a magnet" various
metals such as arsenic, aluminum, mercury, cadmium, lead, and chemicals
including pesticides and insecticides, from the body right.through
the skin and into the clays! By using specific clay formulas these
toxins can be loosened and the results can be seen in the tub!
What an easy, non-evasive and inexpensive way to GET THE LEAD OUT!
Sources of Information:
Surviving the Toxic Crisis by Dr. William R. Kellas and Dr. Andrea
Sharon Dworkin. Fighting Radiation with Foods, Herbs, & Vitamins by Steven R. Schechter,
N.D. Food & Behavior, A Natural Connection by Barbara Reed Stitt.
Lauana Lei is a world traveler and writer on environmental and health
issues. After overcoming her own "bout" with heavy metal/chemical
toxicity, she now offers and shares from her own experiences.