(NaturalNews) Cholesterol, white cell count, blood pressure - when it comes to testing the health of your blood, levels matter and everyone has an opinion. In analyzing the effect of lead poisoning, experts seem to agree that lead is considerably more harmful to children than adults because it can affect children's developing nerves and brains. A general consensus seems to show that the younger the child, the more damaging lead is to their system. But how much is too much?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has never set a threshold for what percentage of lead in the blood defines lead poisoning. But an unofficial standard was set in 1991 when it stated a lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood should prompt a doctor to assess a child's environment and take other protective steps. The same number is used in Canada and Britain.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, children with lead blood levels below 10 often exhibit no obvious symptoms. Even kids with blood levels up to 20 can be symptom-free, but the lead can still slow children's neurological development.
Recent research indicates differences in intellectual development of children with low but measurable levels of lead poisoning as compared to other kids. "This has prompted the CDC's Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention to set a precedent by focusing on the risks to children with lower levels of lead in their blood", said Dr. Helen Binns of Northwestern University, the lead author of a new report. She said the panel isn't proposing a new standard, but is "emphasizing that all levels are important."
The report is published in the November issue of the medical journal Pediatrics. It advises doctors how to talk to parents of children who have lower levels of lead. How to describe the risks, suggest nutritional changes and offer safeguards to prevent any additional exposure are the major areas of focus. "There's no treatment proven effective at reducing these lead levels in children," stated Mary Jean Brown, chief of the CDC's lead poisoning prevention branch.
You can download Interpreting and Managing Blood Lead Levels <10 µg/dL in Children and Reducing Childhood Exposures to Lead at CDC.gov .
With no obvious symptoms, how do you know if your child has low-level lead poisoning? You'll have to assess how they could have been exposed; I think it's always a good practice to look at where and how your kids spend their time with a fresh set of criteria. You can learn about the blood test for lead poisoning at HealthLine.com .
Quotes for this article were published by the Associated Press.
About the author
Keith Heimpel has had many jobs in the health and wellness industry from lifeguard (if you're drowning a lifeguard is paramount to your health and wellness), to nutraceutical direct marketing, to equine and equestrian massage therapy. He is currently waiting tables at a French Bistro (and if you ask - he's happy to counsel you as to what is healthiest to order.) He's also an aspiring fiction writer. Keith recently received an honorable mention from Illinois Science Fiction in Chicago (ISFiC), for a short story entry to a contest for unpublished writers of science fiction and fantasy. Learn more about Keith's upcoming work at KeithHeimpel.com Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithHeimpel.