Getting the Lead Out: The Complete Resource on How to Prevent and Cope with Lead Poisoning

Getting the Lead Out: The Complete Resource on How to Prevent and Cope with Lead Poisoning

Getting the Lead Out: The Complete Resource on How to Prevent and Cope with Lead Poisoning

Getting the Lead Out: The Complete Resource on How to Prevent and Cope with Lead Poisoning

Synopsis

"Important. Urgent. Practical. Very, very, useful". -- Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace

"Lead poisoning is one of the most common and preventable pediatric health problems today". US Centers for Disease Control

Between one and a half to two million children under the age of six -- one out of eleven American preschoolers -- have elevated levels of lead in their blood, a condition that can cause damage to their developing brains, resulting in learning disabilities, behavior problems, and decreased IQs. A severe problem that affects not only children from our poorest neighborhoods but also those from many middle- and upper-income families, lead poisoning is most often caused by the lead-based paint that is present on the walls, woodwork and facades of 75% of all American homes built before 1989 -- 57 million US homes and apartments.

Getting The Lead Out: The Complete Resource on How to Prevent and Cope with Lead Poisoning is the first comprehensive, action-oriented book on this compelling health issue. It defines and elaborates on the major sources of lead in the home and environment, medical concerns, prevention strategies, and techniques for controlling lead hazards, while offering advice to parents and homeowners on where to turn should their child -- or home -- be found to have high lead levels.

Excerpt

Lead poisoning is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind, occurring from the time humans learned to smelt and use lead, at least 5000 years ago. The disease was recognized and described by ancient Egyptian and Greek physicians and was so widespread during the Roman civilization that more than one scholar has suggested that it significantly weakened that society and may have led to its downfall. During the medieval history of Europe, there occurred outbreaks of lead "colic" (so named for the striking abdominal pain symptomatic of adult lead poisoning) often in association with poor wine vintages, as lead was commonly used in those times to "doctor" sour wine and restore a sweet taste. The practice was so common and known to be detrimental to those who drank the wine that it was banned in the Holy Roman Empire.

In colonial America, lead was known to cause disease in printers and rum distillers, and was famous for causing "cider colic," a condition produced by drinking cider stored in pewter vessels from which lead "leached" in large amounts. Benjamin Franklin spoke of it in his correspondence with Dr. Benjamin Rush, a noted physician of the time.

Lead was first introduced as a pigment or paint early in the nineteenth century. Because lead ore in the Midwestern United States was so pure, America soon became the lead supplier to the world for this purpose, building a large and influential lead industry. By 1975, virtually every new home built in the northeastern quadrant of the United States received a coat of lead paint, which was really lead oxide suspended in linseed oil, known as "lead-in-oil." Pigments . . .

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