This is a problem that extends into the wombs of pregnant women. The developing unborn child may suffer from an undeveloped brain and nervous system. If a pregnant women takes lead into her body, whether it is by eating or by breathing, it will eventually work its way into her bloodstream. It is then passed on to the fetus through the umbilical cord. Even if only a small amount is ingested it can have a horrible effect on the unborn fetus. It has even been documented that women who work with lead in factories suffer higher rates of sterility, miscarriage, premature birth and birth defects.
Fathers too may contribute to such dangers. If a father has lead in the bloodstream it may cause sperm to be malformed and sluggish, which could prevent conception or cause deformed fetuses. An estimated 300,000 fetuses in American women are so contaminated by lead that they will suffer developmental impairment. Since lead poisoning is a worldwide epidemic, the number of affected unborn children must indeed be monumental. It does not only affect children, but the adults are at risk also.
Besides house paint the most common sources of exposure today are the lead in water due to plumbing, and leaded gasoline. In schools and offices,even the water fountains have water tanks with lead soldered seams. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported that the level of lead from electric water coolers can be very high, and can pose quiet a high toxicity risk. Parents may also bring lead home on the clothes they wear, and further expose their children to this problem.
Gun buffs also are at risk of lead poisoning. Why? Well, recent studies have shown that those who frequent indoor firing ranges have high levels of lead from inhaling leaded dust. The explosion and the microscopic shearing of lead bullets as they travel down gun barrels send lead particles into the air, and the shooter draws them into his lungs. Some of the symptoms listed are chronic metallic taste and neurological hand twitching. Other studies indicated that family members may also risk high lead exposure from handgun users who bring home lead dust on their clothes.
Your body can only handle a certain amount of lead, so how much is too much? This question is still being debated around the world by many scientists. No one really knows how little or how much is dangerous. If you are pregnant you will want to make sure that you take all of the necessary precautions. I would recommend drinking only bottled water. If this is too expensive for you (since pregnant women drink more water than they would if they were not pregnant) you may think about buying a water filter. Or you can buy a water testing kit, that will let you know if there is any lead currently in your water, and how much.
If someone in your family works in a profession where they may or may not be exposes to lead, make sure that before they enter the house they change their clothes, or maybe just take their work clothes off in the halfway of the house or building. This will avoid having it being tracked into the house.