The recent reminder by our government to run your tap water for 30,seconds (http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/A12B57E41EC9F326CA257BF0001F9E7D/$File/Lead-plumbing-products-Guidance-Statement-July2018.pdf) because of increasing concerns of high lead levels has prompted me to write this short piece.
Lead, also known as plumbum, is a heavy metal that performs no function in the human body. No level of lead is acceptable in health. Lead can accumulate through your life and is also intergenerational. A mother may have been exposed to lead in her lifetime and during the time of gestation, when calcium is usually withdrawn from the mother for the developing foetus, lead in the mother’s bones is withdrawn and transplanted in the new child. That’s the disturbing part of lead poisoning. Acute lead toxicity is relatively easy to identify whereas chronic low levels of lead is harder to identify. Low level lead toxicity comes from exposure to water tanks, lead solder, lead pipes, PVC plastics, eroded nickel plated plumbing, old paint, lead forms of aviation fuel or garages where all the cars where striped back and cleaned with leaded fuel. Lead accumulates over your life time and displaces calcium from the bones and teeth. It is stored until such time as bones decay in conditions such as osteoporosis and the lead is released back into the body.
Scary as this maybe it is always better to know if there is a problem than not. Lead can be chelated out of the body with calcium, vitamin C and Selenium supplements and if you have a favourite free radical scavenger, take that too. We also have homeopathic chelates for all the heavy metals as well.
Two tests to determine whether you have high lead levels are:
OligoScan is a non-invasive spectrophotometer device which can scan through the palm of your hand the level of heavy metal present, as well as mineral status and ratios, and give instant ‘real time’ results of your current status.
Interclinical and NutriPATH also do hair analysis of heavy metals which evaluates nutritional and toxic elements as a reflection of the bodies’ mineral stores and levels from past exposure. This test is a safe and non-invasive and provides indicative mineral balances and comparative ratios of nutrients and toxic minerals in the body.
At Ranges Integrative Health your practitioners Anne and Melinda can provide tests for heavy metals at your request.
The parting word, the recent advisory warning by the government department which took six months to be made public was to run the cold tap water for 30 seconds before drinking. Really this advice should be 3-5 minutes before drinking but on the driest continent on the planet that would be ‘courageous’ directive from any government authority.
Anne will look at other heavy metals and their impact on health in future articles.