Lead exposure and poisoning can occur in three different ways – primary, secondary and tertiary.
The primary way, is through direct exposure – eating paint chips, accidentally swallowing a lead sinker, consuming water or food that has been contaminated.
The secondary way includes exposure to dust from leaded petrol, consume plants that are grown in contaminated soil, and similar.
These first two methods of exposure can result in lead being stored in the bones, and potentially also the brain.
The tertiary way occurs when lead is released from its storage sites and re-poisons you.
This can happen when you are pregnant, lactate and go through menopause. As people age their bones leach lead back into the body. It is interesting when you look at the list of health issues that can be related to lead poisoning and you see that many of them are generally considered to be “diseases of ageing” – dementia, cataracts, hypertension (high blood pressure) and more.
To share more about this topic, I had the privilege to discuss this topic with Lead Advocate, Elizabeth O’Brien.
in 2004, Elizabeth O’Brien was awarded the United Nations of Australia Association World Environment Day Award for Outstanding Service to the Environment. She has been involved in lead poisoning prevention for almost three decades and is the instigator of the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action.
This year, I had the honour of catching up with this incredible environmental activist… here’s our interview.
- We discussed how this Week of Action came about, and what the World Health Organisation is working on
- Why it is important to act in prevention of lead poisoning (which includes safely removing it from the body)
- The effects of lead on the body
- Diseases of “ageing”
- How to test for lead and the optimal limit
- What sort of testing is reliable
- The pros and cons of spot testing
- Unexpected sources of lead – including in our diet (you will be surprised!)
- Action that you can take
- Where to get more help
#lead #leadpoisoningprevention #elizabethobrien #theleadgroup #leadsafeworld #interview #heavymetals