Monday, August 29, 2016

Lead Poisoning Isn’t Just Child’s Play – Adults Impacted Too

Most of the focus of the effects of lead poisoning has been directed towards children, and rightfully so. Children absorb a higher percentage of the lead they ingest into their system about 30-50% compared to 10% for adults. Additionally, the rapidly developing brains of children under six years of age are far more susceptible to lead.  Finally, playtime on the ground and mouthing behaviors put them in harms way in regards to lead exposure. All combined, the immediate effects of lead poisoning on children are far greater than the immediate effects on adults.
            However, low-level lead accumulation over a lifetime is something that is not often discussed but presents a risk. While the half-life of lead in the blood of adults is about one month, the lead that is retained in spongy bone has a half-life in the bone of about 90 days and the lead retained in compact bone has a half-life from 10 to 30 years. Therefore, someone does not need to be lead poisoned by a single point of exposure in their life. Someone can experience the negative effects of lead and even become lead poisoned simply by repeated exposure, accumulating lead in their bones over their life.
            While lead that has been built up in bones is continually moved out of the body, that mobilization of lead from bone into the blood system increases “during periods of pregnancy, lactation, menopause, physiologic stress, chronic disease, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, fractures, and advanced age, and is exacerbated by calcium deficiency,” according to a Medscape article titled “Pathophysiology and Etiology of Lead Toxicity.” Osteoporosis is also a situation that can lead to dangerous exposure to lead that has been accumulated in the body. As a result, it is possible to become lead poisoned even years after exposure to a source of lead.
            The effects of low-level lead accumulation on adults vary from person to person, but there is evidence of low-level lead accumulation leading to the following health problems later in life: elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular mortality, worsened cognitive performance, depression, anxiety, hearing loss, Parkinson’s disease, eye cataracts, tooth loss, and hyperuricemia (which leads to gout and, in extreme cases, kidney failure).
Also of interest is the effect that lead poisoning has on pregnant mothers and their children. There is evidence that for a mother who is lead poisoned during pregnancy, their child is two to three times more likely to develop schizophrenia. Lead that has been accumulated in the mother’s bones over time can lead to her poisoning from increased mobilization of lead stored in bones. Of course, this list is not comprehensive, so there may be other serious health issues that

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kink-free Garden Hose / Nozzle - 428387, Yard & Garden Tools at ...Are You Watering Your Vegetable Garden with Lead this Summer?

This past June, the Ecology Center released a study examining the possibility of harmful contaminants in common everyday garden hoses. This was an update to their findings from similar studies done in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

What they found in the 32 hoses they tested was worrying levels of harmful contaminants, including lead, bromine, chlorine, antimony, tin, and phthalates. The worst offenders were hoses that contained PVC.   29% of PVC hoses containing at least 100 parts per million (ppm) of lead, 75% containing phthalates, and 50% containing greater than 1,000 ppm of bromine and greater than 500 ppm antimony. Many of the PVC hoses use recycled electronic vinyl waste, which contributes to the high levels of bromine, lead, antimony, and tin in the hoses. Hoses made of rubber or polyurethane did not contain significant levels of any of the contaminants.

The metal fittings on the ends of the tested hoses also pose potential hazards. Of the tested hoses, 15% of metal fittings contain lead. This, however, marks a definite improvement over five years ago when 40% of metal fittings tested contained lead. Of important note is of the five polyurethane hoses tested, two were labelled “drinking water safe” with no contaminants in the hose or fittings. However, of the other three that were not labelled “drinking water safe,” two had metal fittings that contained lead. On top of that, of the ten hoses in the study that were labelled “drinking water safe,” three contained potentially harmful phthalates (all three are PVC hoses), but were free of significant levels of lead, bromine, antimony, and tin. Therefore, it is important to remember when purchasing garden hoses, you must be careful which ones you choose. If they are not labelled “drinking water safe” or “lead-free,” they may contain harmful contaminants that can negatively impact the lives of you and your family.

Written by: Peter Brian Richey

Friday, April 29, 2016

Impacts of Lead Ammunition

I never was a hunter, the fear of guns and animals kept me far away from it. However, I had always been a fairly adventurous eater. I’ve had calamari, duck, and even alligator a few times. It seemed normal being in a Midwestern state that the next time I expanded my palette I would be trying venison. Before I got a chance to taste the delectable deer that so many speak about, I ran across some research on deer and how their hunted. According to The Scientific American's Wild Meat Raises Lead Exposure article , “Dr. William Cornatzer, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences and a radiologist, X-rayed 100 packages of venison that had been donated by a sportsmen group to a food bank. About 60 percent of the packages contained lead-shot fragments, even though it’s common practice among hunters to remove meat around the wound.” This disturbing information lead me to continue my research where I found that “Eating venison and other game can substantially raise the amounts of lead in human bodies. The findings have prompted some experts to recommend stricter regulations on lead ammunition.” I knew that lead could contaminate the body through lead based paint and even gas but this new information shows another route that the element can take that can have disastrous effects. The Center for Disease Control recommends pregnant women and children under 6 years of age to avoid eating wild game that is captured with lead ammunition. However, some people such as the anonymous author of “Letter: Too quick to blame lead ammo” on the Budgeteer News seems to disagree. The blog explains how a frequent venison eater had their child’s blood lead levels tested only to find that the levels were very low, indicating that eating game has not had a major impact on the families lead exposure. The author continues to explain how 99% of hunters in the area comply with the anti-lead ammo policy however animals such as the California condor are still being poisoned, suggesting there is another cause of poisoning. With limited research it is hard to say which of the two views is correct but one thing is for sure. Lead poisoning has negative impacts for adults, children, and animals alike.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Undergraduate Student Experience at 5th Annual Lead Education Day

Displaying IMG_4483.JPG"This year I joined the Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Home’s annual Lead Education Day. This was an amazing opportunity to advocate for the families impacted by lead poisoning and civically engage on an important issue. This was my first time speaking to legislators and I must say that this was an experience to remember. A few weeks prior to the event volunteers participated in an online webinar to prepare them for the big day at the capitol so they felt comfortable speaking to policy makers. I built my knowledge on lead poisoning and policy information as well as learning about the influence that certain legislators have based on what committee they are apart of. People came from diverse fields and geographical regions to volunteer at  this event and as a result I was also able to network with other professionals who are passionate about this public health issue.When Lead Education Day arrived we broke into small groups and met with 4-5 legislators and informed them on what important steps they could take to help the families impacted by lead poisoning. Being an undergraduate student, this is an opportunity that I am very fortunate to have. This was an invaluable experience and I look forward to continuing my work with MIALSH!"

Friday, March 4, 2016

5th Annual MIALSH Lead Education Day Success!

Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and joined us for our 5th annual MIALSH Lead Education Day.  It was a smashing success thanks to you!

While it was a very snowy day, advocates to end lead poisoning in Michigan traveled in from Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Lansing, Jackson, Clarkston, South Lyon, Commerce Township and many other parts of the state to talk about lead education.  We visited over 70 legislative offices and had 72 attendees RSVP for the day.

Legislators and staff appreciated our visits and the information we shared about lead poisoning prevention and best practices.  Many were surprised to learn how big of an issue lead is in their districts and how many facets there are to lead poisoning.  Our coalition is full of intelligent, well spoken and passionate messengers and together we do make a difference.

We also had fun! Check out our Facebook page for a photo album from the day.

See you next year!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Watch our 2016 Lead Education Day Training Webinar

Will you be attending our 5th annual Lead Education Day on Wednesday, March 2? If so, watch this video of our training webinar. It has important information about the day's events, our talking points, and what to expect when meeting with legislators. It's a great tool for both seasoned and new attendees!

You can also download the file of the presentation: 2016 MIALSH Lead Education Day Training Presentation.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Join Us for Our Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Homes (MIALSH) Annual Lead Education Day
                                   Image result for michigan capitol     

When:  March 2nd 2016 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Lansing
What:  Break into teams to talk to your lawmakers about MIALSH and lead    
poisoning prevention in Michigan. Network, lunch and learn!

Please RSVP HERE.  Any questions please contact
Carpools are being arranged so please inquire if you are interested.

Those who register will receive more details and materials close to time.