February 9, 2016

Lead Poisoning and Its Life-Long Consequences In the Media Spotlight

The recent controversy over lead levels in the drinking water of Flint, Michigan residents has once again drawn national attention to the danger lead exposure poses, especially to young children.

Image Source: Wikimedia commons 
According to the CDC, “no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body… [but because] lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.”

A recent New York Times (NYT) article on lead exposure and lead poisoning further explained, “even low levels of lead in blood can have profound effects on the brain and nervous system. Lower intelligence, difficulty in paying attention and with fine motor skills, and lower academic achievement have all been connected to elevated lead levels.”

According to the article, calcium, iron, and vitamin C intake may all help to slow lead absorption, but to date, there is no way to reverse the effects of lead poisoning. For that reason, medical professionals emphasize the importance of lead exposure prevention.

To learn more about lead exposure, including common sources of lead exposure and how to detect it, click here to read the full NYT article.