Is Lead Poisoning? Over Time, Our Bodies Can Build Up Lead?

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What is lead poisoning? Over time, our bodies can build up lead. A small amount of lead can be the origin of serious health issues. There is no safe level in lead in blood. According to the CDC, there are a least 4 million homes, with children in them, that have dangerously high levels of lead. There are approximately 500,000 children, ages 1-5, in the United States with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter. Again, there are no safe blood lead levels! What is lead? Lead is a natural element found in the earth’s crust. It was once thought to have uses that were beneficial such as, use in food cans and water pipes, but it is now known to be very toxic to humans and animals. The use of lead is quickly being phased out. Children (and adults) can get lead poisoning from dust fumes containing lead, bad pipes, lead paint that has been touched then ingested or peeling/flaking lead paint. The symptoms of lead poisoning in children can range from constipation and difficulty sleeping to anemia, learning disabilities and abdominal pain. The more the lead builds up, the worse the complications can get. Some of those complications include hearing loss, loss of developmental skills and reduced IQ. At very high levels, lead poisoning can cause death. In areas with many older homes, it is important for teachers and child care administrators to help educate and inform parents of lead and its toxicity. Departments of Health, like New York’s Department of Health, offer a lead poisoning prevention curriculum for preschool children and their families. Sesame Street even has a lead awareness video for families. Treatment for leading poisoning is available. The first step is to remove the source or sources of contamination. Lead can be in ... ... middle of paper ... ...te, a person with SCD in the United States has a life expectancy of 40-60 years. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is currently the only cure for SCD. Sadly, many with SCD are either too old for a transplant or are unable to find a relative who is a close enough genetic match for them to donate cells. A compatible donor is necessary to have the best chance for a successful transplant. By trying to stay healthy and closely working with a physician, many adults and children avoid complications of sickle cell anemia. Drinking plenty of water, moderate exercise, avoiding temperature extremes and taking doctor recommended vitamins such as folic acid are some ways to maintain good health. Teachers and care givers can help by serving nutritious well balanced snacks and meals. They can also keep the lines of communication open with parents so no symptom goes unnoticed.

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