Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Nothing good comes from exposure to lead

"In this population of Mexican children, current blood lead level among children with low exposure (< 5µg/dL) was positively associated with hyperactive/impulsive behaviors, but not with inattentiveness. These results add to the existing evidence of lead-associated neurodevelopmental deficits at low levels of exposure."

That quote from the paper by Siying Huang and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) kinda says it all when it comes particularly to childhood exposure to lead (Pb) insofar as there really being no safe limit. Allied to other research in this area (see here) the message is coming through loud and clear that when it comes to this stuff: "Lead is a neurotoxin with no physiological functions in the human body, the ideal concentration of which in the blood is zero." [2]

Without pushing specific associations, I'd also suggest that where particular groups of children may be more prone to present with issues with lead (see here) (although not all [3]), science and clinical practice might be minded to think about minimising potential routes of exposure (see here) and perhaps strategies for removing any excess load [4]. Questions about whether there may be underlying biological or genetic 'issues' pertinent to the metabolism of such xenobiotics might also figure, specifically in light of where elements of autism research in particular, have already cast a spotlight (see here).

Nothing good comes from exposure to lead.

Tomorrow (30th December) I have my annual review of research on this blog so please come by and take a look. For now, I leave you with an idea for 2016... bring back Yub Nub (and original Anakin).

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[1] Huang S. et al. Childhood Blood Lead Levels and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Cross-Sectional Study of Mexican Children. Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Dec 8.

[2] Hou S. et al. A clinical study of the effects of lead poisoning on the intelligence and neurobehavioral abilities of children. Theor Biol Med Model. 2013 Feb 18;10:13.

[3] Fuentes-Albero M. et al. Lead excretion in spanish children with autism spectrum disorder. Brain Sci. 2015 Feb 16;5(1):58-68.

[4] Gracia RC. & Snodgrass WR. Lead toxicity and chelation therapy. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2007 Jan 1;64(1):45-53.

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ResearchBlogging.org Huang S, Hu H, Sánchez BN, Peterson KE, Ettinger AS, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Schnaas L, Mercado-García A, Wright RO, Basu N, Cantonwine DE, Hernández-Avila M, & Téllez-Rojo MM (2015). Childhood Blood Lead Levels and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A Cross-Sectional Study of Mexican Children. Environmental health perspectives PMID: 26645203