In the United States, we assume our water is safe for consumption. The vast majority of the time, this is the case. However, as is indicated by cities such as Flint, Michigan, dangerous contaminants can make their way into our water supplies, leading to dangerous conditions such as lead poisoning.
Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen and treatments available in the event that it does happen. Curious as to what they are? Let’s get into the specifics of lead poisoning treatment and prevention.
What Causes Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning is caused by an excess of lead in the body. In most cases, this lead builds up over time, accumulating through months or years of consumption.
Unfortunately, even small amounts of lead can be toxic. As such, poisoning is common in those who are exposed to it on a regular basis.
Those who are most prone to lead poisoning are those who live and work amongst lead on a regular basis. Because they breathe it in every day, it accumulates in their lungs and causes toxicity.
That said, excess lead consumption can come in a variety of different forms. These include but aren’t limited to the one-time consumption of lead-based paint, the one-time consumption of lead-dense soil and the one-time consumption of lead-heavy water.
What are the Symptoms of Lead Poisoning?
The symptoms of lead poisoning are many and can present themselves at a variety of severities. Some of the most prominent of these symptoms include the following.
Delays in Development
When it comes to lead toxicity in children, developmental delays are common. Not only do many affected children suffer from delays in speech but from learning difficulties as well.
Often times, those who have consumed excessive amounts of lead will suffer weight loss. This happens for two reasons: 1. Lead causes a lack of appetite, leading to less food consumption, and 2. Lead causes gastrointestinal issues, leading to irregular digestion.
Another symptom of lead poisoning is personality changes. These personality changes include everything from increased irritability to increased recklessness to increased sluggishness to a loss of concentration and more. Depression and anxiety are also common in affected individuals.
Lead can wreak havoc on the digestive system, causing severe gastrointestinal issues. These issues can, in turn, lead to a number of severe symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and, as was mentioned above, weight loss.
Another symptom of leading poisoning is hearing loss. Though more common in older individuals, lead-induced hearing loss can occur in teenagers, young adults, and children as well.
The more lead that makes its way into the body, the more damage the brain receives. As such, lead poisoning can sometimes lead to seizures.
Risk Factors for Lead Poisoning
While anyone can contract lead poisoning, there are some individuals with a higher risk for the condition. As such, these individuals need to be especially vigilant about their surroundings.
Young children are the most susceptible. This is because they tend to eat things that they shouldn’t, and their bodies can’t handle as much lead consumption as can adult bodies.
Those living in old homes have a high risk as well. Why? Because old paints contain excessive amounts of lead, much of which can be breathed in over the years.
There are also those who grew up in underdeveloped countries. Because these countries are often low on regulation, they are more susceptible to lead-based products than are developed countries. As a result, their citizens are more prone to lead poisoning.
Lead Poisoning Treatment
The manner of lead poisoning treatment utilized is dependent on the level of toxicity that’s experienced. The two primary treatments include the following.
Eliminating the Source of Toxicity
If symptoms are mild, you can combat them simply by eliminating the source of toxicity. For instance, you could paint over lead-based paint in your home or remove lead from your water with the use of a water filter.
For those suffering extreme symptoms, chelation therapy is often needed. This is a form of therapy in which a chemical is added to the body via medication or injection. This chemical reacts with the lead, thus allowing it to be expelled through urine.
How Can You Prevent Lead Poisoning?
While treatments for lead poisoning can be effective, they’re not a failsafe. As such, you need to prevent lead poisoning as much as you can. There are a few different ways to reduce your risk, including the following.
Utilize a Water Filter
Whether you get your water from a well or from a municipal water supply, you’re advised to utilize a water filter. A filter will remove all of the lead from your water, ensuring that you don’t consume it.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Just because you swallow lead doesn’t necessarily mean that you absorb lead. In fact, by eating a healthy diet, you can slow the absorption of lead. Prioritize Vitamin C, iron, and calcium, specifically.
Test Your Home for Lead
If you live in an old home, it could very well contain lead-based paint. To ensure that it doesn’t, you’re advised to have it tested by a professional.
To prevent the spread of lead in your home environment, you’re advised to clean on a regular basis. By cleaning your countertops and washing your hands, you can stop lead in its tracks, ensuring that it isn’t incidentally transferred from your mouth to your hands.
Do Away With the Lead in Your Water
In truth, the best lead poisoning treatment is prevention. If you can prevent lead from making its way into your body initially, you’ll never have to deal with any of the nasty symptoms discussed above.
Looking to avoid lead poisoning at all costs? Then you need to install a water filter! Find one now at DiscountFilters.com!