Lurking Lead…


Lead poisoning is preventable…bottom line.

Yesterday, I visited my local Asian food store. I was planning to make a Vietnamese soup “Pho”.

On a recent trip to Los Angeles I ate at “9021PHO” in Beverly Hills and enjoyed a beautiful bowl of this delicious soup. It was served in a large bowl similar to the ones that I looked at in my local Asian grocer.

The bowls would have totally been an impulsive purchase and would not have made my Pho as tasty as the one I was served at 9021PHO so I did not succumb to buying the bowl.

This morning I came across this timely NYTime’s article which more than justified my not buying the beautiful but perhaps dangerous soup bowl.

Could it have been one of those ‘lurking lead’ exposures that I never think about?.

I don’t know about you but I never think about lead poisoning these days. But it is worth remaining alert to hidden exposures to lead especially if you are pregnant, have young children or grandchildren.

Children are at the most risk if they are exposed to lead especially under the age of six. This is the time that they are growing very rapidly and they put many things directly into their mouths.

Lead paint is still in some older homes especially those built prior to 1978, so children in these environments are more at risk. It is the deterioration of the paint that is of particular concern since lead then is in the household dust.

The CDC has some recommendations:

  • talk to state or local health department to test the paint and dust in your home for lead
  • keep your child away from peeling paint or any surface that they could chew on that is painted with a lead-based paint.
  • pregnant women and children should not remain in an apartment or house built before 1978 that is being renovated.
  • wash children’s hand and toys that become contaminated with household dust or exterior soil as both can be sources of lead.
  • wet mop floors and wet wipe window components every 2-3 weeks
  • prevent children from playing in bare soil.

Other recommendations regarding children:

  • avoid using traditional home remedies and cosmetics that may contain lead;
  • avoid eating candies imported from Mexico;
  • avoid using containers, cookware, or tableware to store or cook foods or liquids that are not shown to be lead free;
  • remove recalled toys and toy jewelry immediately from children. Check Lead Recalls lists.
  • use only cold water from the tap for drinking, cooking, and for making baby formula (Hot water is more likely to contain higher levels of lead. Most of the lead in household water usually comes from the plumbing in your house, not from the local water supply.);
  • shower and change clothes after finishing a task that involves working with lead-based products such as stain glass work, bullet making, or using a firing range.

The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend that pediatricians continue to provide anticipatory guidance to parents in an effort to prevent lead exposure (primary prevention). Additionally, pediatricians should increase their efforts to screen children at risk for lead exposure to find those with elevated BLLs (secondary prevention).

via Screening for Elevated Blood Lead Levels — Committee on Environmental Health 101 (6): 1072 — AAP Policy.