Lead in the News

Belated preamble: I've been writing about lead lately. To see a list of all my lead-related postings, please go here I suspect lead is "in the news" quite a bit, & I am unable to post every single item that makes headlines (a person's gotta sleep, right??)

So I'm giving links to a few items I've come across recently, & will add more from time to time.

Note on June 28/11: Up until now, I'd been adding new news items in at the bottom - from here on in, any additions will be up at the top.

Lead in Your Bounce House?

Traces of Lead Found in UNB Water System

Lead Contamination Prompts Recall of Toxic Waste Candy

Tate Modern Sunflower Seeds artwork contain lead paint (2-minute YouTube)

Lead Exposure May Raise Blood Pressure in Pregnancy - Even low levels had a strong effect, researchers find (** note: this news item will not be available after 05/09/2011)

Wouldn't You Want to Know if Your Child's Toys Contain Lead?

'Get the Lead Out' - recent column in Sun Media (posted May 14th). "Known as the father of all metals, lead has been used by humanity for more than 8,000 years. For at least half of that time, health professionals have warned about the potential health impacts of lead exposure.

Lead is a neurological toxin that can have serious developmental and cognitive effects. There is virtually no way to flush it out of the system once it has entered the human body.

“Lead moves us down the stupid scale and doesn’t let us come back,” said Stephen Collette, an environmental building consultant and certified building biologist." [Column is by Suzanne Elston] Rest is here

Note!!! A health promotion worker in the U.S. who has a lot of experience working with families affected by lead exposure said this in response to the column above: "It states that toys and jewelry can be rubbed on a piece of white paper to determine if there is lead. This may or may not show positive results. The fact that the sealants used on any material may hide a positive result for lead. It is the deterioration of the sealant or protective covering of any item, such as scraping of a children’s teeth on a toy or constant rubbing on the skin of jewelry that can help expedite this deterioration and expose this lead. An XRF gun or sending items to a lab are the surest way to determine lead content, however this can be costly. The best bet is to buy lead free toys, with a label that states lead free and to teach children not put things in their mouths.  During the mouthing phase of children, infants to about 3 years of age, this can prove to be tiresome, so educate parents to give their children safe things to play with and that they can mouth. This would not include trinkets, keys, flea market toys, batteries,(yes, batteries), bullets, painted tiles from fireplaces, shoes, mom’s necklace, sisters earrings, grandpas foot powder (foreign and contained excessive amounts of lead), plants, cabinet doors, magazines and so on. And yes these real sources that have caused EBLL’s [elevated blood lead levels], parents should be required to have parenting classes before they leave the hospital."

'Feds Not Enforcing Lead Law to Keep You Safe.' Undercover News Story on Lead. YouTube here

CLEVELAND - A hidden camera investigation sparked action after Cleveland-area contractors were caught ignoring a federal lead safety law, putting families at risk."The major concern is damage to the brain," explained Roberta Anderson, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Metro Health Medical Center. She sees child after child poisoned by their own home.Two-year-old Jayden was exposed to lead from simply opening and closing windows in his home. Now, his future is at risk. Anderson said home renovation projects are also putting children at risk.

"The amount of lead it takes for a child to be exposed is normal hand to mouth activity," Anderson said.