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!

Banned in Europe, Not in America

Posted by titanadmin on September 25, 2013

chlorine-wash

Hundreds of years ago, Europe began banning known toxins and poisons such as asbestos, lead and other harmful chemicals. These bans were, years later, banned from the US—some taking 100+ years to enact. When government regulations to ban ingredients and chemicals take lengthy amounts of time to conduct study after study, focusing on the economic impact and potential harm to living organisms; American people and other living organisms stand to suffer.

Here is a list of ingredients and chemicals banned in Europe and other countries, yet allowed in the United States of America:

1. Neopesticides—Banned in Europe this year. These are systemic nerve poisons which kills bees and other pollinators. The EPA recently added a new safety standard in which every pesticide company is required to label products containing Neopesticides with EPA regulated labels that state the danger to bees and other pollinators. Doesn’t this sound like the skull and crossbones originally placed on residential lead paint containers? Perhaps the bees are our canary in the mine.

2. Atrazine—Banned in Europe in 2003, Syngenta’s weed killer Atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor that, according to UC Berkeley Professor Tyrone Hayes, “chemically castrates and feminizes wildlife and reduces immune function in both wildlife and laboratory rodents.” The chemical has also been found to induce breast and prostate cancer, retard mammary development and induce abortion in lab animals, with studies in humans suggesting similar risks. In the US, Atrazine is widely used and has become a common drinking water contaminant.

3. Arsenic in Chicken, Turkey and Pig Feed—Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker (i.e. “fresher”). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated these products are safe because they contain organic arsenic, which is less toxic than the other inorganic form, which is a known carcinogen. The problem is, scientific reports surfaced stating that the organic arsenic could transform into inorganic arsenic, which has been found in elevated levels in supermarket chickens. In 2011, Pfizer announced it would voluntarily stop marketing its arsenic-based feed additive Roxarsone, but there are still several others on the market. In the European Union, meanwhile, arsenic-based compounds have never been approved as safe for animal feed.

4. Poultry Litter in Cow Feed—Chicken litter, a rendered down mix of chicken manure, dead chickens, feathers and spilled feed, is marketed as a cheap feed product for cows. The beef industry likes it because it’s even cheaper than corn and soy, so an estimated 2 BILLION pounds are purchased each year in the US. However, any cow that eats chicken litter may also be consuming various beef products intended for chickens – raising concerns about Mad Cow Disease. In the US, the use of poultry litter in cow feed is unrestricted. Europe banned all forms of animal protein, including chicken litter, in cow feed in 2001.

5. Chlorine Washes for Poultry Carcasses—The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is rolling out new rules that would permit poultry producers to put all poultry through an antimicrobial wash, using chlorine and other chemicals to kill pathogens. We already have a problem with antibiotics causing antibiotic-resistant ”super germs” when used in the animals’ feed, and this could likely make the problem worse. Workers in the plants have also reported health problems from the chemical washes, including asthma and other respiratory problems. In the European Union, the use of chlorine washes is banned, and US poultry that’s been treated with these antimicrobial sprays are prohibited.

 

6. Antibiotics as Growth Promoters on Livestock Farms—Agricultural uses account for about 80 percent of all antibiotic use in the US, so it’s a major source of human antibiotic consumption. Animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention and growth promotion, and those antibiotics are transferred to humans via meat, and the manure used as crop fertilizer. Feeding livestock continuous, low-dose antibiotics creates antibiotic-resistant diseases. The FDA says it will focus its efforts on voluntary reform in the realm of antimicrobial use, which means the industry would have to decide to stop using low-dose antibiotics in animal feed on their own — a measure they have been vehemently opposed to because the antibiotics make the animals grow faster, which increases their profit margins. In Europe, all antibiotics used in human medicine are banned in agriculture, and no antibiotics can be used for growth-promoting purposes.

 

7. Ractopomine and Other Pharmaceutical Growth Enhancers in Animal Feed—Ractopamine is banned in 160 countries, including Europe, Taiwan and China. If imported meat is found to contain traces of the drug, it is turned away, while fines and imprisonment result for its use in banned countries. Yet, in the United States an estimated 60-80 percent of pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter because it increases protein synthesis–making animals more muscular, increasing food growers’ bottom line. Additionally, up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket, and this drug is also known to cause serious disability, including trembling, broken limbs and an inability to walk, in animals. It’s also killed more pigs than any other animal drug on the market. While Europe has remained steadfast on its Ractopamine ban, including refusing imported meat treated with it, the US is actively trying to get other nations to accept imported Ractopamine-treated pork.

 

8. Water Fluoridation—Many do not realize that fluoride is a drug that is available only with a prescription. Yet it’s added to municipal water supplies used by more than 180 million Americans, including infants and the elderly without any attention to personalized dosing or potential interactions. Swallowing fluoride has been shown to cause weakened bones, bone cancer, hyperactivity and/or lethargy, lowered thyroid function, lowered IQ, dementia, kidney issue, arthritis and more, while studies have failed to show benefits for preventing cavities when taken internally. Cities around the US spend millions adding fluoride to communal water supplies each year, yet most European countries do not fluoridate their water.

 

10. Genetically Modified (GM) Foods—The European Union has historically taken a strict, cautious stance regarding GM crops, much to the chagrin of biotech giant Monsanto and in stark contract to the US. For instance, while GM crops are banned in several European countries, and all genetically modified foods and ingredients have to be labeled, the US has recently begun passing legislation that protects the use of GM seeds and allows for unabated expansion, in addition to the fact that GM ingredients do not have to be labeled.

Virtually all of the claims of benefit of GM crops – increased yields, more food production, controlled pests and weeds, reductions in chemical use in agriculture, drought-tolerant seeds — have not materialized while evidence pointing to their serious risks for human health and the environment continues to grow.

 

Eventually, these products, ingredients and chemicals, which are banned in Europe and other countries, will be banned here in the US. Eventually. But, in the meantime, who pays the price?

References:

EPA: New Pesticide Labels Required on Neonicotinoids

Shape Magazine: 13 Foods Banned in Europe

Mercola: Dangerous Food Practices

Mother Jones: Food Practices Banned in Europe, But Just Fine Here

A Timeline of Lead

Posted by titanadmin on September 18, 2013

The following timeline is an excerpt from a more extensive list of dates and information.

3000 BCE – First significant mining and refining of metallic lead. 500 BCE-300 AD – Roman lead smelting produces dangerous emissions. 400 BCE – Hippocrates describes lead poisoning.

100 BCE – Greek physicians give clinical description of lead poisoning.

1621 – Lead first mined in North America.

1853 – Tetraethyl lead (TEL) discovered by Carl Jacob Loewig (1803 – 1890), chemistry professor at the University of Zurich.
1887 – US medical authorities diagnose childhood lead poisoning.

1909. France, Belgium and Austria ban white-lead interior paint.

1910Alice Hamilton‘s pioneering study of lead industries for state of Illinois  finds extensive worker poisoning and conditions that would close factories in Europe. Hamilton becomes America’s foremost expert in lead poisoning.

  

1914 – Pediatric lead-paint poisoning death from eating crib paint is described.

  

1916 – Dayton Electric Light Co. (DELCO) president Charles F. Kettering asks researcher Thomas A. Midgley to begin working on problem of engine knock in DELCO electric generators used in rural areas for electric lighting.  Midgley discovers iodine as anti-knock but it’s too expensive.

1924 – Six Standard Oil refinery workers die violently insane following daily  exposure to tetraethyl lead fumes at Bayway Ethyl plant. 

1925 – Criminal charges are dropped against Standard by a New Jersey grand jury investigating the deaths and injuries.

  

1926  – Public Health Committee releases a report that finds “no good grounds” for prohibiting Ethyl gasoline but insists on continued tests.

1942 – GM, Ethyl and Standard Oil gave the Nazis leaded gasoline production technology in return for a patents on synthetic rubber.

1971 – Ethyl Corp. officials claim to be victims of a “witch hunt,” and say environmentalists are using “scare tactics” by blaming lead for the fall of the Roman Empire.

1976 – Preliminary decision in Lead Industries Association v EPA; court says EPA has authority to regulate leaded gasoline.

1977 – Testing by public health scientists shows correlations between high levels of lead in children’s blood and brain damage, hypertention and learning disorders.

1978 – Lead in residential paint is banned.

1981 – Vice President George Bush’s Task Force on Regulatory Relief proposes to relax or eliminate US leaded gas phaseout, despite mounting evidence of serious health problems.

1983 – EPA reports that between 1976 and 1980, amount of lead consumed in gasoline dropped 50 percent and corresponding blood-lead levels dropped 37 percent. The benefits of the lead phaseout exceed its costs by $700 million.

1986 – Primary phaseout of leaded gas in US completed. Study shows health benefit to technology cost ratio at 10:1.
Click here for the full timeline.