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Lead (Pb) Poisoning

 But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. (1 Tim 6:9-10 MSG)
 Today happen to begin the holy week after palm Sunday yesterday. I just thought it wise to draw a lesson from the Holy Book that relates to what we want to discuss today which is birthed from industrialization, a quest towards making money.

Lead is a chemical element with symbol Pb got from it's latin world plumbum. Its atomic number is 82, which belongs to the Metal family on the periodic table. Lead is an important part of industrialization. Product like (in the case of some country they use) leaded paint, leaded gasoline, leaded aviation fuel. Must of the majorly mined lead are used in lead-acid battery for motor vehicles. Some pipes used in delivering waters are made of lead. lead is also used in soldering. Some of the pipes which bring water could also be soldered with lead. This are just a few economic use of lead not even forgetting the fact that it's used for some TCM product.

Exposure to this Lead can lead to catastrophic consequences.It affects multiple body system. Children as well are not left out, they are even the most vulnerable. When one is exposed, it distribute to the brain, the kidney, liver, bones and teeth. Exposure of this poisoning is measured through lead in the blood. The Lead in the bone can go into the blood among pregnant women transfering the poison to the fetus and contaminate the unborn child.

Lead exposure could be ingested through lead dust, commentated water, and food got from lead pipe or lead solder pipe bringing water. It could also be inhaled from particles generated by burning lead material, like melting Lead, recycling it, or stripping lead paint. Children are more vulnerable to being victim of lead poison because they are more prune to putting non-food Item in there mouth. Tendency of eating lead from the soil or from lead paint is higher.

Lead poison affect the brain and nervous system to cause coma, convultion and even death. 163 person died of lead poisoning in Zamfara Nigeria the number included 111 children withing the month of March till June 2010. The story goes that they thought it was malaria but thanks to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without borders) who discovered lead in their blood. They believed gold miners expose the land to lead poisoning which contaminate the land and waters of that geographical environment. Survivor of this poisoning are left with mental retardation and behavioral disorder.

At low level exposure, it is  shows no symptom that people thinks it's safe but the effect of this poisoning is so catastrophic, It reduces children Intelligent Quotient (IQ), reduce retention span and increase antisocial behavior which automatic truncate ones education career. It also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurology and behavioral after effect are said to be irreversible.

We can  check the blood for lead poison by just taking a little sample of the blood and check for the lead level. It is measured in micrograms per deciliters (mcg/dL). There is no safe level for lead but we consider 5 mcg/dL as the unsafe exposure of lead to children. That child should be kept under check. But if the higher say 45mcg/dL, he should be treated immediately. After this test, if one is around 45mcg/dL, Chelation therapy could be administer but if above, EDTA chelation therepy could be administered. The best way to eliminate lead poisoning is to get rid of the causes of the poisoning and if you notice your children is fond of picking non food items and putting it in there mouth, it would be nice one recommend a test for lead poison the next time they visit the clinic before things turn worse. Prevention as one of the preventive gospel of TCM is always better than cure.

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