Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lead

Lead is practically everywhere in today’s environment. It enters our bodies from many sources. Lead poisoning victims usually become anemic. Their symptoms usually persist for about two weeks from time of exposure, and then settle into the organs, bones & even hair. We still do not know the long-term effects of lead exposure.

Lead poisoning symptoms are commonly overlooked by doctors and are not properly diagnosed as lead poisoning, since they are vague.

Dr. Claire Patterson of the California Institute of Technology did a study in 1965 called “Contaminated and Natural Lead Environments of Man,” which offered first hand proof that high lead levels in industrial nations are man-made and endemic. In fact, the study showed that the average bone lead level of a deceased person today averages approximately 1000 times higher than that of deceased people who lived 400-500 years ago.

After phasing out lead in gasoline, reducing lead levels in food should be our greatest health priority. Lead intake from fresh vegetables and fruits can be reduced by thorough washing and by peeling root vegetables. Food produced close to heavy traffic or lead-emitting industries will have more lead. Fertilizers with sewage sludge added to them may boost soil lead levels — check with the supplier. Lead in processed foods is picked up at various stages from growing to packaging.

There are estimates that 13 to 22 per cent of our dietary lead intake is from lead-soldered food cans. Unfortunately, the U.S. does not regulate and test for lead in all canned foods. Food in cans with lead-soldered seams can be dangerous; particularly cans that contain acidic substances such as fruit juices and some vegetables. Imported canned goods are more likely to have soldered seams. Cans with round bottoms (extruded cans) are safe and do not have a seam or use lead.

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