In light of recent news about the poisoning of the water in black communities from Flint, MI to St. Joseph, Louisiana, we wanted to share the following article, This appears in “The Hood Health Handbook, Volume 2 and was authored by Dr. Supreme Understanding in 2010. Please share if it gives you some insight into our current crisis! – Tokeshia Stephens, SDP
(Pg. 116 Hood Health Vol. 2)
Lead affects the nervous system. That means brain damage. Reduction in IQ begins with lead levels as low as 7 ug/dl (micrograms per deciLiter of blood). Guess how much lead that means? Very little. It doesn’t take much at all.
Beyond intellectual impairment, researchers have also found that lead can stunt physical growth (at 1 ug/dL), contribute to ADHD symptoms (at 2 ug/dL), and even cause cavities (at 3 ug/dL). At higher levels, slow lead poisoning causes memory loss, mood swings, infertility, nerve, joint and muscle disorders, cardiovascular, skeletal, kidney and renal problems and possibly cancer.
More than 40% of American homes still have lead-based paint in them. But Black children are five times more likely than white children to suffer from lead poisoning, according to the CDC. Lead poisoning endangers the health of nearly 8 million inner-city children, mostly Black and Hispanic. As of 2003, nearly half (47%) of Black children ages 1 to 5 had blood lead levels in the range of 5 to 10 ug/dL, which corresponds to a loss of 4 to 7 IQ points. 19% of white children and 28% of Hispanic children fell in the same range. Among Black children in large cities, 36.7% have blood lead levels of above 10 ug/dl.
Lead has been connected to social problems as well. Boys with high amounts of lead in their bones had more reports of aggressive and delinquent behavior than boys with low levels, and that their behavior got worse over a period of time, regardless of social factors. Roger D. Masters, a proponent of the “neurotoxicity” theory, suggests exposure to toxic pollutants (specifically lead and manganese) may contribute to people committing violent crimes. U.S. counties with measures of neurotoxicity (lead, manganese, and alcohol) have violent crime three times the national average. According to Masters, “The presence of pollution is as big a factor as poverty.”
Recent studies supported by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences suggest that – in addition to lower IQ – a young person’s lead burden is linked to lower high school graduation rates and increased delinquency. The symptoms of slow lead poisoning were not fully recognized until the late 20th century. In 1973, the EPA began phasing out leaded gasoline, a process that took over twenty years. Lead was banned in household paint in 1978. As a result, lead levels in the blood of American children have dropped by 86% since the late 1970s. But if you understand the Black-white statistics above (as with any other negative situation), you know that Black people are still at a much higher level of risk than whites. In poor communities, most homes were built before 1978, so you’ve probably still got lead in your walls. And in poor communities, there’s lead in the water as well…right down to your child’s elementary school water fountain. I dare you to buy a test kit, make a school visit, and see for yourself. (See “Lead Poisoning: Abating Environmental Racism”)
If you have a young child at home who is at risk for lead exposure, talk to your physician about having the child’s blood tested for lead levels.
For more information on lead toxicity, check out UPAL.org, visit the EPA website, or call the National Lead Information Center at 1(800) 424-LEAD
You can remove toxic minerals from your body, and protect against taking them in by:
For details on the book this article comes from, visit The Hood Health Handbook Volume 2