Debate Magazine

Lead Poisoning--maybe That Explains the Gunloon Mentality

Posted on the 20 July 2012 by Mikeb302000
I'm not talking about the slang for being shot, I am talking about lead's characteristic as a neurotoxin. Lead is a neurotoxin that is especially damaging to foetuses and young children, although it can harm the brains and nervous systems of adults, as well.
It's not just a neurotoxin,Lead is a powerful neurotoxin that hurts almost all body organs, particularly the kidneys, red blood cells, and central nervous system. In young children, lead retards the development of the central nervous system and brain.Even tiny amounts can cause reduced IQ, reading and learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and behavioral problems. As a result, childhood lead poisoning is associated with lower educational achievement, higher rates of high school drop-out and increased behavioral problems.
Lead's toxic characterisitcs have been well known for thousands of years. Hippocrates described the case of a metal extraction worker with abdominal colic . The metal was used extensively for purposes that ranged from tool formation in ancient Egypt to the sweetening of wines in the Middle Ages. Famously, in 1767 Sir George Baker demonstrated that Devonshire colic was caused by lead in the production equipment of Devonshire cider . In the 19th century lead poisoning was classified as a notifiable occupational disease in Britain, though the necessity of reducing workers' exposure was fully appreciated only in the latter half of the 20th century.  Lead Paint It was banned in France and many other countries prior to 1920.  Lead was banned in U.S. residential paint in 1978.
Lead dust is invisible, so tiny in fact that it passes through most masks & filters.  You can not see or smell lead, and often, you can not taste it.
Lead shot and lead weight can severely affect individual organisms and threaten ecosys­tems (WHO 1989). After three to ten days of waterfowl ingesting lead shot, the poison will reach the bloodstream and be carried to major organs, like the heart, liver and kidneys. By the 17th to 21st day the bird falls into a coma and dies. Following the ingestion of lead shot, lead toxicosis has been observed in Magpie geese, Black swans, several species of duck (including Black duck and Musk duck) and Hardhead species (OECD 1993). We have also seen that it is effecting the California Condor population.
Children with blood lead levels higher than 5 micrograms per deciliter were also significantly more likely to exhibit and hyperactivity than children with lower lead levels. Children with levels above 10 micrograms per deciliter scored even worse on hyperactivity, antisocial and educational performance tests than children in the 5 to 10 microgram per deciliter group.
The upshot is that lead is known to be a serious toxin in the environment. The neurological damage caused by even low levels of lead is long term and often irreversible, it is no longer acceptable to only identify and attempt to treat already poisoned individuals. The only solution to lead poisoning is to prevent it by controlling lead hazards in the environment before poisoning occurs.
Unfortunately, we know of a group of people who play around with lead on a frequent basis and show some of the effects of lead poisioning.
See also:
  • Lead poisoning: case studies 
  • CU study: Lead levels even well below U.S. standard may affect brain function in children 
  • New Lead Fears for Children
  • Lead Neurotoxicity 
  • Effects of lead on the environment 
  • Lead Contamination In Our Environment

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