Lead Poisoning

Lead is a toxic metal that has been in widespread use for thousands of years. The extent to which lead has been used has resulted in considerable environmental contamination and poisoning.

Lead is a soft, durable metal that is highly versatile. Today, it is most commonly found in lead-acid batteries used to run the electrical systems of vehicles. But you can also find lead in a wide variety of products such as the following. 

  • Leaded Paint & Aviation Fuel
  • Ammunition, Jewelry, and Crystal Glassware
  • Ceramic Glazes, Toys, Cosmetics, & Traditional Medicines 

Unfortunately, two of the most common sources of lead contamination are older paint and pipes in the home. Drinking water may contain lead that has slowly seeped into the water supply. The damage lead contamination can cause is considerable. 

The Effects of Lead

The toxic effects of lead are pronounced in adults, but even far worse in children. Lead poisoning negatively affects the growth and development of the brain and nervous system. In adults, exposure to lead increases the risk of high blood pressure and damage to the kidneys. The unborn are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning when pregnant women are exposed.

Once lead enters the body, it can seep into the brain, bones, kidneys, liver, and all other areas of the body. Because it does not exit the body, the lead can build up over time to become a dangerous threat to your health. A woman with lead in her bones presents a danger to her unborn child because it may seep into the fetus. 

Common Areas That Cause Lead Poisoning

Lead exposure can happen in two basic ways; inhalation or ingestion. Lead particles can be inhaled when materials that contain lead are burned. This includes recycling, smelting, stripping away old lead paint, and being in close proximity to aviation fuel. 

Ingestion of lead normally occurs when water or dust from old water pipes is consumed. Another method is from food that has been stored in lead containers. Another possible form of ingestion occurs when a high amount of traditional medicines or cosmetics containing lead have been used. 

There is no amount of acceptable lead exposure. This is because lead stays within the body and can build up over years even if the exposure itself seems only slight. With the cumulative effects of lead exposure being so harmful, it pays to have any lead in your structure identified and removed as quickly as possible. 

How Brickley Environmental Can Help

If you suspect your home, office, or facility has lead call the professionals at Brickley Environmental today. They have the knowledge, experience, and training to identify and remove lead contamination from your structure in a safe, effective manner.  

Lead was commonly used in the construction and painting of homes and buildings until the mid-1970s. If you are living or working in an older residence or commercial building, it’s possible that lead may exist. By calling Brickley Environmental today, you can schedule an inspection and find out if there is lead present. 

For more information on lead, click here to visit the CDC website.

Detecting the Presence of Lead in Food

Lead is a toxic element that is naturally present in the water, air, and soil. Even small amounts of lead can be dangerous, especially to children. Lead inhibits the proper development of the brain, which in turn can affect speech, emotion, and cognitive ability. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated a link between lead and premature death due to heart disease.

New concerns about lead in food have surfaced in India where instant noodles, a popular food consumed by tens of millions of people, may contain lead. While the possibility of lead being present is alarming, food makers, such as Nestle, have argued that the level of this toxin is well under safe limits. These food makers argue that the presence of lead is naturally present in the soil at less than 2.5 parts per million and that no lead is added to their food products.

Is There a Safe Level for Lead?

The counterargument to Nestle’s position is that no amount of lead in any food is safe. Prolonged exposure to lead, even in low amounts, contains serious health risks over time. This is especially true for children who over their lifetime will absorb four to five times the amount of lead in their systems compared to adults.

The presence of low levels of lead can lower the IQ of children and cause behavioral issues. High levels of lead affect the central nervous system along with the brain, which may lead to serious health complications that include death. Surviving such exposure still leads to complications that may include damage to the liver, kidneys, and other parts of the body.

Signs of Lead Poisoning

Early indications of lead exposure can be difficult to detect simply because there are no symptoms in the early stages. By the time the symptoms do appear, the poisoning may be considerable. Most of the symptoms in children and adults involve the brain and having behavioral problems, delays in growth, issues focusing and learning, and memory loss.

There may also be abdominal pain, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, pain in the extremities, and more. Lead poisoning is now connected to cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure and heart attacks. Whether you have any symptoms or not, testing for lead will provide some peace of mind in knowing whether it is present in your food or on your property.

Call Brickley Environmental

If you suspect the presence of lead in your food or perhaps on your property, call the experts at Brickley Environmental today. We have the knowledge, experience, and equipment necessary to detect the presence of lead and have it safely removed from your residence or business.

What Every Parent Should Know About Lead Poisoning

Thanks to growing news reports, particularly from Flint, Michigan, and the issues they are having with their water system, lead poisoning is a topic that is garnering more attention. Lead used to be a common ingredient in paint and gasoline until it was banned in the early 1970s. The effects of lead poisoning, especially on children, can be devastating.

What is Lead Poisoning?

Lead is similar to the many minerals that are absorbed and passed through the body, such as zinc, iron, and calcium. However, lead is a poison that has harmful effects on the mind and body. Because of the way it is distributed throughout the body, lead can remain present for a long time and cause considerable damage.

Exposure to lead over the long-term may lead to serious health issues for young children, toddlers, and babies who are the most vulnerable. While lead is a toxic substance, children are particularly vulnerable because their bodies can retain lead for longer periods of time.

The health effects include the retardation of development in the brain and other areas of the body, which include problems with behavior, anemia, and understanding. The presence of lead in the body may also include pain from headaches and stomach issues that cannot be easily treated. When lead is present in the body long enough, it can get into the bones and affect the production of blood cells and interfere with the effects of helpful minerals, such as calcium.

How Does Lead Poisoning Occur?

The most common source of lead poisoning comes from paints that were made with lead as part of the ingredients. Such paints were banned in the mid-1970s, but there are still many older homes that may still have lead paint on the walls. Lead is also used in paints in some countries overseas, so there is a potential source as well.

Water from old lead pipes and faucets are another common source of poisoning, which reaches the soil and contaminates that as well. It is also important to be cautious of cans, toys, inks, glass, and plaster that come from other counties since they may have the presence of lead inside. The symptoms of lead poisoning can be difficult to discern unless you have a specific test performed.

If you suspect the presence of lead on your property, it is best to call a professional service to treat the issue.

Why Call Brickley Environmental?

At Brickley Environmental, we provide the best services in the identification, isolation, and removal of lead from the home, office, or facility. Our team of experienced professionals understand how to address the presence of lead and provide a step-by-step method for its effective removal. If you suspect the presence of lead in your home, office, or facility, call Brickley Environmental today.

Know the Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

Lead has been an important metal used for thousands of years in many different products. However, it was not until the 20th century that the threat of lead poisoning was fully understood. By the 1970s, lead was banned from most products, especially paints, and many considered the issue to have been successfully addressed.

However, recent discoveries in states like California have shown lead remains in the water supply and still poses a threat. Even today, it is still important to be able to identify the symptoms of poisoning early so that it may be addressed quickly.

Symptoms in Adults

For adults, the symptoms of lead poisoning are difficult to properly diagnose because they can often be confused with other illnesses or issues. The common symptoms of lead’s presence in the body include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Pain in muscles, abdominal area, and joints
  • Headaches
  • Mood disorders
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth

Usually, it is only when several people show up to medical facilities with the same condition that lead in the environment is checked for as a possible cause. If there is no discernable cause for your symptoms, you should ask the physician to check for the presence of lead.

Symptoms in Children

This is where lead poisoning is particularly insidious as it can stunt the growth and development of children, especially those under the age of five. Possible signs of poisoning include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Learning difficulties
  • Delays in development
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Loss of hearing & seizures

Sources of Lead Poisoning

The two most common sources of lead exposure come from pipes and paint made before the 1970s. While such sources are fewer and farther between today, in California recent tests in some communities showed that lead pipes are still being used in poorer, less developed neighborhoods that have not changed since the 1960s or before.

It’s also possible that lead contamination of the water supply may come from natural sources as well. Regardless of the source, if there are any signs of lead poisoning in the community, water supplies should be checked out quickly so that any lead contamination can be addressed effectively.

If you believe that lead is present in your home, building, or facility, contact the team at Brickley Environmental. They have the knowledge, skill, and equipment to inspect, identify, and remove lead from the property. Do not let another day go by if you suspect that your family or employees may be exposed to lead.

Potential Lead Poisoning in California Drinking Water

It started in a San Diego grade school when a therapy dog refused to drink the water. The water was tested and found to have polyvinyl chloride, a polymer used in PVC pipes that degrades over time. However, the testing also revealed something the dog did not smell, the presence of lead.

The elevated levels of lead in the drinking water were not only present in that school, but in other schools in the Southern California area, including Los Angeles. Lead is a neurotoxin that causes brain damage and developmental disorders even in the smallest amounts, so the discovery of the lead has caused great concern, much like it did in Flint, Michigan.

History of Lead Poisoning

Lead has been a part of human history for thousands of years, but the effects of lead were not fully realized until about a half-century ago. In the early 1970s, lead was banned from most substances, including paint. Children became sick after being exposed to the dry, peeling lead paint in older homes.

The presence of lead in drinking water is mostly associated with older buildings that also used lead pipes or other materials made from lead that interacted with the water and have slowly degraded over time. Since lead was banned its presence still crops up from time to time, mostly in drinking water.

How California Is Responding

Two bills have been presented into the California State Legislature. The first, AB 1316, calls for the Public Health Department to ask doctors across the state to do more investigating into potential lead exposure of children under their care. This would include testing children that may have been in contact with lead.

The second bill, AB 746, requires that all school districts immediately test the water for any presence of lead. If a lead contaminated source is found, it will need to be addressed immediately. So far, 2% of all children tested in California has shown some signs of lead exposure. This is mostly true for Southern California children, particularly those in Monterey, Humboldt, and Los Angeles counties. A zip code in Fresno showed that 14% of the children had been exposed to elevated levels of lead.

The main problem faced by California now is a lack of knowledge about the different potential sources of the lead. By testing children they will hopefully find where the lead sources are located so they can be properly addressed. Catching exposure to lead early leads to treatments that may minimize damage, although there is no cure yet.

If you are concerned about the potential for lead in your drinking water, contact the professionals at Brickley Environmental. They have the tools, equipment, and professional training to detect issues with your drinking water and act to remove it from the building. Do not let another day go by if you believe your water should be tested, call Brickley Environmental today!