Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Should kids be tested for lead exposure?

Answer: I think they should.
I would be particularly concerned that a child be tested who is a “mouther,” a finger-sucker, or a child who frequently is putting toys in the mouth.

I would also want to test children under age 4 who have been playing with these toys if it were my child. I think you would want to do that just for peace of mind.

When I was at the EPA, we did an observational study of toddler behavior. We found that toddlers were putting their hands to their mouths anywhere up to 26 times an hour, the mean was 9.5.

They are not necessarily sucking their thumbs, but there is a lot of hand-to-mouth behavior.

We were surprised by the findings and had to rethink the way we were looking at risks for little kids.

Until next time,


Monday, September 8, 2008

What is the health risk for children from lead exposure?

Answer: The most significant risk has to do with developmental delays and the impact of lead on brain development, which occurs with very low levels of exposure.

Lead is also hazardous to adult brains. In fact, there is a lot of research here at Hopkins that’s beginning to show that low levels of lead affect adult brains as well as those of children.

Lead is also toxic to the kidneys and to blood formation. It’s also a carcinogen.

The Heavy Metal Screen Test is a safe and effective way to test children for metals and toxins.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Health Risks Of Heavy Metals

Like heavy metal? Think again.

We are not talking Ozzy here, but in fact heavy metals that can be very harmful to your health if found in your drinking water.

Severe effects include reduced growth and development, cancer, organ damage, nervous system damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Exposure to some metals, such as mercury and lead, may also cause development of autoimmunity, in which a person's immune system attacks its own cells. This can lead to joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and diseases of the kidneys, circulatory system, and nervous system.

The young are more prone to the toxic effects of heavy metals, as the rapidly developing body systems in the fetus, infants and young children are far more sensitive.

Childhood exposure to some metals can result in learning difficulties, memory impairment, damage to the nervous system, and behavioural problems such as aggressiveness and hyperactivity. At higher doses, heavy metals can cause irreversible brain damage. Children may receive higher doses of metals from food than adults, since they consume more food for their body weight than adults.


Toxic metals can be present in industrial, municipal, and urban runoff, which can be harmful to humans and aquatic life. Increased urbanization and industrialization are to blame for an increased level of trace metals, especially heavy metals, in our waterways.

There are over 50 elements that can be classified as heavy metals, 17 of which are considered to be both very toxic and relatively accessible. Toxicity levels depend on the type of metal, it's biological role, and the type of organisms that are exposed to it.

The heavy metals linked most often to human poisoning are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Other heavy metals, including copper, zinc, and chromium, are actually required by the body in small amounts, but can also be toxic in larger doses.

Heavy metals in the environment are caused by air emissions from coal-burning plants, smelters, and other industrial facilities; waste incinerators; process wastes from mining and industry; and lead in household plumbing and old house paints. Industry is not totally to blame, as heavy metals can sometimes enter the environment through natural processes.

For example, in some parts of the U.S., naturally occurring geologic deposits of arsenic can dissolve into groundwater, potentially resulting in unsafe levels of this heavy metal in drinking water supplies in the area. Once released to the environment, metals can remain for decades or centuries, increasing the likelihood of human exposure.

In addition to drinking water, we can be exposed to heavy metals through inhalation of air pollutants, exposure to contaminated soils or industrial waste, or consumption of contaminated food.

Because of contaminated water, food sources such as vegetables, grains, fruits, fish and shellfish can also become contaminated by accumulating metals from the very soil and water it grows from.

Sip with confidence, use the Heavy Metal Screen Test and see if your local water supply contains any of these harmful metals.
For more information click on the picture above.

Until Next Time,