Toxic lead in surprising places

As most of you know if you follow my blog or receive my emails I read Men’s Health Magazine. The February 2013 issue contains an interesting article about lead and Proposition 65 in California. Prop 65 requires the labeling of products that contain cancer causing chemicals. Lead is one of those – along with cadmium, arsenic, and mercury.

Many of you recall the banning of lead in paint because of the danger of children nibble on that paint. And you may know that lead was used in solder up until about 1986 so houses older than that may still have lead in the water.

Here are some other sources of lead that I was unaware of:

Christmas lights

Wine or liquor glasses (leaded crystal) – the acid in the wine can leach out the lead

Garden hoses –

Balsamic Vinegar – often made in old distillers

Car keys – ever put them in your mouth

Jewelry –

The magazine cites a 2010 study by the Michigan State University that calls lead ‘stunningly toxic’ and shows that men who have even ‘minimal contact with lead suffer a drop in semen quality and hormone levels’. Another study from the Harvard school of public health found that low levels of lead may lead to depression in young adults.

One of the issues I’ve been trying to figure out recently is whether or not metals, such as lead or fluoride, can penetrate the skin when you shower. This situation with Prop 65 where they suggest that jewelry containing lead can leach lead into your skin and thus your body may provide one piece of evidence that metals do penetrate the skin. Other people I’ve discussed this with suggest that metals cannot get past the skin layer and are shed by sweating.

I don’t know that for sure yet but it appears that the science panel for Prop 65 implementation thinks it can. As I learn more I’ll be sure to share it with you.

And of course if you have an older home I can help you remove the lead, fluoride, and chlorine from your water.

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Exposure to Toxins, Healthy Drinking Water, Healthy Living. Bookmark the permalink.

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