FACTs About Low Lead Level Exposures

New studies and re-interpretation of past studies demonstrates that it is not possible to determine a threshold below which BLL is not inversely related to IQ. [2]

Elevated BLLs are associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and antisocial behavior, which in turn increase the likelihood of conduct disorder.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has gradually lowered the blood lead level of concern (the BLL where intervention is recommended) from 60 ug/dL (600 ppb) in 1960 to 10 ug/dL (100 ppb) in 1991. 

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FACTs and Myths: Lead Present in Nashville, TN School Drinking Water

FACT seeks to educate citizens on the real issues surrounding lead in school drinking water.  Oftentimes we find that school administrators, school districts, policymakers, and reporters are misinformed on this issue and therefore, mislead in the public on lead test results and remediation actions.  Phil Williams from Channel 5 news in Nashville, TN is not one of those misinformed reporters.  His piece entitled "Test Show Lead in Metro Schools' Drinking Water" is well researched and exposes the dangerous myths that this school district attempts to spin into fact.  We applaud Mr. Williams and his exceptional reporting.  Take a moment to watch the below segment and see how many myths you can spot.

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Getting Toxic Chemicals Out of Your Life: Lead in Baby Food

A new study by the Environmental Defense Fund evaluated data collected by the Food and Drug Administration from 2003 to 2013 and found that 20 percent of baby food samples tested had detectable levels of lead.  This is very scary and every parent should be concerned.  According to the NPR article “Lead Detected in Baby Food Samples.  Pediatricians Say There’s No Safe Level”, the study included 2,164 baby food samples. They found 89 percent of grape juice samples, 86 percent of sweet potatoes samples and 47 percent of teething biscuits samples contained detectable levels of lead.

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Testing for Lead Exposure

A recent New York Times article entitledF.D.A. Warns of Faulty Lead Testing in Children and Mothers brought to my attention that blood lead tests taken after 2014 that used Magellan Diagnostics to analyze the blood may be faulty.  The concern is that the tests may have underestimated blood lead levels in tests done by drawing blood from the vein.  There are two ways blood can be drawn for lead tests 1) by pricking the finger or heel (capillary) or 2) drawing blood from the vein.  The tests drawn from the vein that used Magellan Diagnostics seem to be the ones that are providing faulty results.  Although the capillary tests are acceptable it is recommended that if the test shows signs of lead in the blood then the test should be followed up with a venous test. 

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Study Shows that Lead Exposure at Young Age Leads to Decline in Socioeconomic Status

We know that children that are exposed to lead suffer from lower IQ and decreased cognitive ability.   A recent study found that children who experienced higher lead exposures saw their intellectual ability decline from their baseline starting point as time wore on---meaning that the lead exposure continued to have a negative effect on a person’s cognitive learning abilities years after the initial exposure.

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