Blog Archives

Is Exposure to Lead Paint Causing Your Children Developmental Issues

Posted by MikaB on August 25, 2015

The answer, in many cases is, YES! If you have young kids, it’s important to find out whether there’s any risk that they might be exposed to lead, especially if you live in an older home.

Long-term exposure to lead, a naturally occurring metal used in everything from construction materials to batteries, can cause serious health problems, particularly in young kids. Lead is toxic to all of us, but unborn babies and young children are at greatest risk for health problems from lead poisoning — their little, growing bodies make them more predisposed to absorbing and retaining lead.

Each year in the United States 310,000 1- to 5-year-old kids are found to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood, which can lead to a wide range of symptoms, from headaches and stomach pain to behavioral problems and anemia (not enough healthy red blood cells). Lead can also affect a child’s developing brain.

The good news is that you can protect your family from lead poisoning. Talk to your doctor or contact us about potential lead sources in your house or anywhere your kids spend long periods of time, especially if they are under 3 years of age.

And it’s important for kids to get tested to determine their blood lead levels if they’re at risk of exposure — many people with lead poisoning show only mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all.

Why Is Lead Dangerous?

When the body is exposed to lead — by being inhaled, swallowed, or in a small number of cases, absorbed through the skin — it can act as a poison. Exposure to high lead levels in a short period of time is called acute toxicity. Exposure to small amounts of lead over a long period of time is called chronic toxicity.

Lead is especially dangerous because once it gets into a person’s system, it is distributed throughout the body just like helpful minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc. And lead can cause harm wherever it settles in the body.

Most lead ends up in the bone, where it causes even more problems. Lead can interfere with the production of blood cells and the absorption of calcium that bones need to grow healthy and strong.

Effects of Long-Term Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning can lead to a plethora of health problems in kids, including:

  • decreased bone and muscle growth
  • poor muscle coordination
  • damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and/or hearing
  • speech and language problems
  • developmental delay
  • seizures and unconsciousness (in cases of extremely high lead levels)

Treatment

Treatment for lead poisoning varies depending on how much lead is in the blood. Small amounts often can be treated rather easily; the most important part of therapy is reduction of lead exposure. Gradually, as the body naturally eliminates the lead, the level of lead in the blood will fall.

All siblings of a child found to have lead poisoning also should be tested. Doctors will report cases of lead poisoning to the public health department.

The Titan Environmental Solution

We here at Titan pride ourselves on ensuring you and your entire family’s safety. Lead remediation is a service we provide all year round to make sure we are available to you when you need our help most. We work mostly within the mid-west region:

  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin

Here are some helpful links to all of these, and many more, states’ Environmental Health Departments.

Protecting Your Family

Have your kids tested for lead exposure, particularly when they’re between 6 months and 3 years old. Kids this age spend a lot of time on the floor and trying to put things in their mouths.

If you suspect that you might have lead-based paint on your walls, use a wet cloth to wipe windowsills and walls. Watch out for water damage that can make paint peel. Don’t sand or heat lead-based paint because doing so increases the risk that lead will be inhaled. If the paint doesn’t have many chips, a new layer of paint, paneling, or drywall will probably reduce the risk. It’s best to consult a professional, especially because other precautions might be needed to contain the lead in the paint.

The children are our future, so the quicker we can completely eliminate their threat from lead, the brighter our future will be! For more info contact us today for an inspection before you and your family fall victim to this unforgiving poison!

It’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week!

Posted by titanadmin on October 20, 2013

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This year’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future,” underscores the importance of the many ways parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead and prevent its serious health effects.

Spread the Word! Visit epa’s website to learn more.

If you live in a pre-1978 home, chances are you have lead. Click here to learn more about how you can protect your family.

According to the World Health Organization, lead poisoning is entirely preventable, yet lead exposure is estimated to account for 0.6% of the global burden of disease, with the highest burden in developing regions. Childhood lead exposure is estimated to contribute to about 600 000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year. Even though there is wide recognition of this problem and many countries have taken action, exposure to lead, particularly in childhood, remains of key concern to health care providers and public health officials worldwide.

Other Resources

Other federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), plan to conduct various education and awareness events for Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. For more information about Lead Poisoning Prevention Week or lead poisoning in general, contact the National Lead Information Center at 1 (800) 424-LEAD.

Lead in the Air You Breathe

Posted by titanadmin on October 10, 2013

Lead was banned twenty years ago in automotive gasoline, yet continues to pollute our air.

Currently, aviation fuel is the largest source of lead emissions in the U.S. and will continue to be for the next four years. In June 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the planned phase out of Avgas, leaded gasoline in aviation use for private aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says there are approximately 167,000 aircraft in the U.S. and a total of 230,000 worldwide that rely on the current 100 octane, low lead fuel for safe operation.

In 2011, a Duke University study found that kids living within 500 meters of an airport, where leaded Avgas is used, have elevated blood lead levels. The EPA estimates 16 million Americans live close to one of 22,000 airports where leaded Avgas is routinely used-and three million children go to school near these airports. And as Kevin Drum wrote in his Mother Jones piece, even low blood lead levels have bad health and social consequences.

The FAA has asked fuel producers to offer options that would safely allow general aviation aircraft stop using leaded fuel by 2018.

However, according to Kent Misegades, director of the Aviation Fuel Club, there is already a lead-free alternative called Mogas–which can be used in 80% of exisiting piston engine aircraft and has been available since 1982. The remaining 20% of planes can run on Mogas with a modification called Inpulse.

So why the delayed phase out?

Without regulatory pressure, there just isn’t enough incentive to change. Flyunleaded.com publishes a list of airports that supply mogas—a list that includes only 3 percent of all airports in the United States, according to Misegades.

A few environmental groups have taken legal action to speed up Avgas’ phaseout. In 2011, the Center for Environmental Health sued several avgas suppliers under California’s Proposition 65, which requires businesses to disclose chemicals that can cause cancer or other health problems. “[The aviation industry] realizes the writing is on the wall,” says CEH spokesperson Charles Margulis. “It’s a matter of time.” After petitioning the EPA to study and regulate aircraft lead emissions in 2006, Friends of the Earth also sued the EPA in 2012 for failing to adequately respond to that petition. A few months later, the FAA announced it would work with the EPA to take concrete steps toward implementing unleaded alternatives.

Banning leaded Avgas in aviation use will be a huge step to cleaning our air, protecting our children, and our health. It’s just too bad they expect us to wait four more years. The health effects of lead in automobile gas were known as early as the 1920s, but it took half a century before the EPA eliminated it. Unfortunately, the tetraethyl lead in Avgas has flown under the radar for decades and is still poisoning the air we all breathe.

Want to make a difference? Do something about it–HELP GET THE LEAD OUT! Here are some suggested actions you can take at a local level:

1. Sign a petition.

2. Contact local airports and demand they offer Mogas or another unleaded option.

3. Join the Aviation Fuel Club.

4. Join a local environmental group (or start one) and work together to make a difference.

flyunleaded


The Link Between Lead and Crime

Posted by titanadmin on September 12, 2013

America experienced a massive increase in levels of violent crime, ranging from 1960, to its peak in 1990, then steadily declining. Though many theories are in place to explain this peak and decline in crime, Kevin Drum of Mother Jones has provided compelling evidence and statistics; all of which points to one simple idea: violent crime rose as a result of lead poisoning because of leaded gasoline.

ThePBEffect

The chemistry and neuroscience of lead gives us good reason to believe the connection. Decades of research has shown that lead poisoning causes significant and probably irreversible damage to the brain. Not only does lead degrade cognitive abilities and lower intelligence, it also degrades a person’s ability to make decisions by damaging areas of the brain responsible for emotional regulation, impulse control, attention, verbal reasoning, and mental flexibility.

It is scientifically noted that children exposed to high levels of lead in early childhood are more likely to have lower IQs, higher levels of aggression, and lower impulse-control.  All those factors point to crime when children reach their teens if not earlier.

Between 1976 and 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency required oil companies to phase out leaded gasoline. In 1978, lead in residential paint was banned (though most pre-1978 buildings still have lead paint, which children can absorb).

Tests have shown that the amount of lead in Americans’ blood fell by four-fifths between 1975 and 1991. A 2007 study by the economist Jessica Wolpaw Reyes contended that the reduction in gasoline lead produced more than half of the decline in violent crime during the 1990s in the U.S. and might bring about greater declines in the future. Another economist, Rick Nevin, has made the same argument for other nations.  He collected lead data and crime data for Australia and found a close match; same for Canada, Great Britain, Finland, France, Italy, New Zealand and West Germany.

As Drum reports in his article, leaded gasoline, though totally banned, still lurks and still has adverse affects on our children. The fact of the matter is that the leaded gasoline fumes settled into soil, especially in heavy traffic areas. And, the issue we’re faced with is that lead in soil doesn’t stay in the soil. Every summer, like clockwork, as the weather dries up, all that lead gets kicked back into the atmosphere in a process called resuspension.

And just like gasoline lead, a lot of that lead in old housing is still around. Lead paint chips flaking and old windows whose friction surfaces generate lots of dust as they’re opened and closed.

Drum’s conclusion is that solving our lead problem will do more than any prison could do to reduce our crime problem—it would produce smarter, better-adjusted kids in the bargain.

Cleaning up the rest of the lead that remains in our environment could turn out to be the cheapest, most effective crime prevention tool we have. And we could start doing it tomorrow.

Environmental Asthma Triggers

Posted by titanadmin on August 6, 2013

Indoor allergens and irritants play a significant role in triggering asthma attacks. When American’s spend up to 90% of their time indoors, it’s no wonder asthma is on the rise.

If you have asthma, you may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnfVYHpzBqY]

Common Asthma Triggers:

Secondhand Smoke– This asthma trigger contains more than 4,000 substances, including several compounds that cause cancer. Children’s developing bodies make them more susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke and, due to their small size, they breathe more rapidly than adults, thereby taking in more secondhand smoke.
Dust Mites– Found in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys and fabric and fabric-covered items. Body parts and droppings from these tiny bugs can trigger asthma. Exposure to dust mites can cause asthma in children who have not previously exhibited asthma symptoms.
Molds– For people sensitive to molds, inhaling mold spores can trigger an asthma attack. Found almost anywhere when moisture is present, these tiny spores reproduce quickly and can live on plant and animal matter as well.
Cockroaches and Pests– Droppings or body parts of cockroaches and other pests can trigger asthma. Certain proteins found in cockroach feces and saliva can also trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals.
Pets– Proteins in your pet’s skin flakes, urine, feces, saliva and hair can trigger asthma. A safe measure is to keep pets out of the sleeping areas, off of upholstered furniture, carpets and away from stuffed toys; as well as keeping the pets outdoors as much as possible and isolating sensitive individuals from the pet as much as possible.
Nitrogen Dioxide– This odorless gas can come from anything that burns fuel such as gas, kerosene and wood. Smoke from your stove or fireplace can trigger asthma. Exposure to low levels of NO2 may cause increased bronchial reactivity and make young children more susceptible to respiratory infections as well.
Chemical Irritants– Cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics or air fresheners may trigger asthma. Green cleaning is a safe alternative!
Outdoor Air Pollution– Small particles and ground level ozone from car exhaust, smoke, road dust and factory emissions; as well as pollen can trigger asthma.
Wood Smoke– Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contain a mixture of harmful gases and small particles that can trigger asthma. If you’re using a wood stove or fireplace and smell smoke in your home, it probably isn’t working as it should.

Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to your asthma triggers. But, as a precautionary step, always maintain a clean indoor environment and do your best to avoid common asthma triggers.