Toxic Lead Levels in Children

Toxic Lead Levels in Children

Toxic lead levels in children is a growing concern, not only in the United States, but across the globe where even small amounts of lead can be damaging to the brain. Recent contaminated toy and jewelry products from China containing high levels of lead has raised concern that lead, once thought to have been reduced significantly from the environment in the United States is now once again a serious public health concern. Toxic lead levels in children has serious consequences for brain function and has in part contributed to the increase in attention deficit disorders.

Various Environmental Exposure for Toxic Lead Levels In Children

Toxic lead levels in children has been a problem in past decades. For years lead was used in paint used in homes across the United States. This exposure source became more concerning as homes aged and paint weathered and chipped providing sources of lead deposited throughout the home environment, especially if eaten by small children. In the 1970’s lead based pain was banned in the United States, but around the world these bans do not always take effect and therefore can remain as a source of toxic lead in children. Other sources of toxic lead exposure for children has been various household goods such as bathtubs and ceramics even though the Environmental Protection Agencies campaign against environmental lead exposure has helped reduce the exposure risk of toxic lead levels in children, exposures still occur.

Attention Deficit and Toxic Lead Levels In Children

Toxic lead levels in children is damaging to the brain. Levels high enough can cause severe damage and disease to the cells of brain leading to mental confusion, behavior problems, and stunted development. However, it is the lower and more sustained exposures of toxic lead levels in children that is most concerning as blood levels for lead can be misleading. There is now strong evidence that toxic lead levels in children is a contributing factor to attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in children. Various research from across the United States has shown that cognitive function is altered by accumulation of lead, and that hyperactivity is also linked to lead exposure as well.

Testing for Toxic Lead Levels In Children

Over the years testing for toxic lead levels in children has been mostly done through blood sampling. The problem is unless the values where quite high not much was done for a child as it was misunderstood how bad the problem could be. Research data now shows that there is really no safe level of lead in the blood and that any level could be a problem. Another way of assessing for toxic lead levels in children is through hair analysis testing. Hair Analysis provides assessment of lead exposure over many months to years and is reflective of accumulated stores of lead in the body. Even when blood levels are normal, hair analysis testing can still be high showing tissue accumulation that has moved beyond transient blood circulation. Therefore, in my experience performing Hair Analysis Testing is an excellent screening assessment for toxic lead levels in children, that can also be followed up if deemed necessary by blood testing.

 

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