How Lead can harm your Child's Health

How Lead can harm your Child's Health

What you should know as a parent

Even healthy-looking children can have high levels of lead in their bodies, according to Cleveland Clinic. 

85% of the world’s lead is used in manufacturing car batteries. If you live in a place with a lot of cars around you, it is highly likely that you and your children have lead poisoning.

Your child may display two kinds of symptoms, mental and physical.

Mental Symptoms

  • Memory problems
  • Speech delay
  • Irritability
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inability to sit and listen
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty paying attention

Notes J F Rosen, many of these symptoms don’t manifest until age 6 or 7 years. To fully test children to see if there are any adverse outcomes from lead poisoning cannot be done until they reach their sixth birthday." 

Physical Symptoms

  • Weight loss
  • Sluggishness and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures
  • Eating things, such as paint chips, that aren't food (pica).

Lead can cause irreversible damage

Where is lead stored in the body?

  • Lead is stored in the bone for decades, causing long-term internal exposure (Oregon Health Authority) 
  • Lead enters the body primarily through inhalation and ingestion of lead containing dust
  • Once in the body, lead travels in the blood to soft tissues such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart. 
  • 32% of the lead taken into the body of a child will leave in the waste. (Barry 1975). It follows that, unless chelated, 78% of the lead will remain inside the body and continue to cause long term damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart. Learn more about Natural Chelation >>

The Limitations of Blood Testing

  • Most toxic heavy metals such as Lead, Mercury, Arsenic and Cadmium are stored inside the organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart.
  • Unfortunately, blood tests cannot show the heavy metals stored inside your organs. 
  • A blood test can only show the elements floating in the bloodstream. So, if you were exposed to a toxic heavy metal in the past, while it is still damaging your mental and physical health, the blood test will likely produce FALSE results.

How to overcome the limitations of a Blood Test?

Hair analysis for lead can be used to corroborate blood analysis or to document past lead exposure. If the hair is collected and segmented in a time sequence (based on length from root), the approximate time of exposure can be assessed – Mayo Clinic, USA. Rochester, New York.

Causes of Lead Poisoning

According to UNICEF, Lead Poisoning can be caused by:
  • Lead-acid Batteries
  • Spices, Cosmetics and Toys
  • Ceramics and Cookware
  • Lead-based Paint and Pigments
  • Leaded Gasoline
  • Lead in Soil
  • Lead in water
  • Electronic Waste
  • Occupational Exposure

How to protect your child from lead poisoning?

Source:  Mayo Clinic – edited by Dr Sheikh

What you can do at home

  • Check your house. If you live in an old home, getting it cleaned and repaired by a certified contractor can reduce lead exposure.

Be sure to protect your family and belongings while lead issues are being addressed. Before you buy a home, have it inspected for lead. Before you sign a lease, ask the landlord about lead.

  • Keep children out of potentially contaminated areas. Don't allow your child near old windows, old porches, bare soil, dirt next to an old home, or areas with chipping or peeling paint as well as old window putty that is flaking or chipping.

If possible, lay sod on areas of bare soil or cover bare spots with grass seed, mulch or wood chips. If your home contains chipping or peeling paint, clean up chips immediately and cover peeling patches with duct tape or contact paper until the paint can be removed.

  • Filter water. Ion exchange filters, reverse osmosis filters and distillation can effectively remove lead from water. If you don't use a filter and live in an older home, run cold tap water for 15 to 30 seconds before using it.

Use cold tap water for cooking, drinking or making baby formula. Hot water absorbs lead more quickly than does cold water.

  • Take precautions in the kitchen. Store food in glass, plastic or stainless steel containers — not open cans. If you're not sure if pottery has a lead glaze, use it only for decoration.
  • Keep your home clean. Regularly wipe floors and other surfaces with a damp mop or sponge.
  • Encourage good hygiene. Make sure your child washes his or her hands and face after playing outside or with pets and before eating and sleeping. Also, regularly wash children's toys, which may become contaminated from soil or household dust.
  • Avoid traditional remedies and certain cosmetics. If you're not sure if a traditional remedy or cosmetic contains lead, don't allow your child to use it.
  • Promote a balanced diet. Eating a diet high in iron and calcium may decrease a child's absorption of lead.

Tips for at work or play

  • Avoid certain children's products and toys. Avoid buying non-brand toys, old toys, and toys from discount shops or private vendors — unless you can be sure that the toys have been produced without lead or other harmful substances.

Don't give costume jewelry to young children. Regularly check lead recall lists, and keep in mind that commercial lead test kits may not be reliable.

  • Take precautions around artificial athletic fields. Don't allow your child to eat on an artificial field and keep drinking containers — when not in use — in a bag or covered container. After leaving the field, have your child remove his or her clothes and turn them inside out to avoid tracking contaminated dust from the play area.

If clothing can't be removed, have your child sit on a towel or blanket in your vehicle. Wash contaminated clothing, towels and blankets separately. Have your child bathe with soap and water after playing on the field.

Keep shoes worn on the field outside of your home. Ideally, remove all shoes when you enter the house and wear no shoes inside or use house slippers indoors.

  • Take precautions after working with lead. After working with lead, change your clothes and shoes and take a shower. Keep contaminated clothing in the work area or wash your work clothing — separately — as soon as possible.

Also, keep materials used for hobbies that may involve lead, such as ceramics making, away from children and areas where they spend time.


Some further information from the Mayo Clinic

Hair Mineral Analysis

Hair analysis for lead can be used to corroborate blood analysis or to document past lead exposure. If the hair is collected and segmented in a time sequence (based on length from root), the approximate time of exposure can be assessed. 

Blood Lead Level Test (BLL)

  • Blood Lead Level test has its uses but only in acute circumstances such as someone has just been exposed to large doses of lead. If so, you must immediately consult with a doctor, call an ambulance, or visit the ER. 
  • However, the truth about lead poisoning is that neither the exposure nor the symptoms occur in a vivid fashion. Rather, both the poisoning and the symptoms occur in a slow and sneaky fashion. 
  • You will notice being tired, being confused, memory playing up, abdominal pain or constipation. Hardly the sort of symptoms where you would say, ‘aha, I know, it’s lead poisoning’. 

Your doctor will also remain clueless about lead poisoning

  • Imagine your child is suffering from abdominal pain and constipation. Let’s call him Joe. So you take Joe to his doctor. What are the chances his doctor prescribes a Blood Lead Test? Zero. 
  • Consequently, the lead in your child’s body remains undetected.
  • The good doctor wrote a prescription for some antacids and laxatives.
  • Will it help? No, it won’t.
  • Meanwhile, your child continues getting sicker from this ‘unexplained’ illness. 

A Hair Analysis can help, but…

  • A Hair Analysis can reveal the presence of toxic heavy metals in the blood including Mercury, Lead, Arsenic and Cadmium. 
  • But unless you have just read an article or a friend has just told you about hair analysis,  you are not likely to think of Hair Analysis as the route to restoring your child’s health.
  • This is unfortunate, because if lead poisoning is detected early on, at the very least we can remove the source and stop further damage.

Online hair tests without a doctor’s report can be dangerous

  • We notice the internet is flooded with cheap commercial hair analysis labs.
  • Only CLIA Compliant and FDA approved Labs may be trusted with the results
  • Reliable results must then be evaluated with a qualified doctor, just as an X-Ray needs a radiologist to read it properly.

Mayo Clinic Lab, Rochester, USA

  • The Mayo Lab is CLIA Compliant and FDA Approved.
  • We use Mayo Clinic Lab or similar for Hair Analysis
  • Our customers are welcome to look it up to learn more about the Lab

The code for the Blood Lead Test is 5673-9
Phone number: + 1 507-266-5700
Mayo Clinic Laboratories
3050 Superior Drive NW
Rochester, MN 55901 USA
Learn about the test

How to Book a Hair Test

  • STEP 1: Book a Free 15 Minute Telephone Appointment with Dr Sheikh to discuss your concerns about your child’s health. Email to
  • STEP 2: Order the Test. You will receive the instructions by email on how to cut and send the hair to Dr Sheikh’s Lab in the UK who will then forward the hair sample for analysis to the lab in the US.

What happens next?

  1. The Lab Analysis provides raw data which needs interpretation, just like an X-Ray needs interpretation by a Radiologist.
  2. Dr Sheikh receives the hair analysis data in 3 to 6 weeks from the lab and interprets it in the light of the child’s case history. 
  3. He then prepares a recovery plan for the child, which typically consists of an advice on nutrition, precautions and natural chelation.
  4. Because chronic lead poisoning takes years before it manifests itself, it will take some time for the lead to leave the body.

How long does it take to chelate (remove) lead?

“Chelating agents remove lead from the blood and soft tissues. It can take years for the deeply stored lead in the bones to move into the circulation and be removed”, USParmacist. 

When should chemical chelation be considered?

Chelation therapy should be considered for treatment of severe symptoms or markedly elevated blood lead levels, according to CDC.

What is Natural Chelation for Children?

  • Upon interpreting the Levels of Lead present in the Hair, if the levels of lead are low and the child’s mental and physical health are only moderately affected, natural chelation therapy works well. 
  • Natural chelation is also safe, inexpensive, pain-free and sustainable. 
  • Additionally, Dr Sheikh will take into consideration the child's environment, living conditions and lifestyle. 
  • He will then make precautionary recommendations. 
  • Removing the source of toxicity together with natural chelation agents, which are often food-based, is an effective strategy.
  • Because national chelation therapy is food and nutrition-based, it is not likely to cause any harm. Despite that, parents must consult with the child’s doctor before making any changes to their child’s intake of food, food supplements or lifestyle.

Book a Free 15 Minute Telephone Appointment with Dr Sheikh to discuss your concerns about your child’s health. Email for further information.

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