We are honored to have been invited to serve as guest editors of this issue of LEAD Action News. Thank you to Elizabeth O’Brien, President of The LEAD Group, for the opportunity to work together to share information with this newsletter’s readership.
The theme of this issue, as is the theme of our lead advocacy work, is awareness and prevention. Prevention is always the goal, as lead has the potential to cause serious and sometimes permanent harm. The precursor to prevention, of course, is awareness. One cannot be equipped to take preventative action without knowing where the risks are.
This leads us to our first article titled Top 10 Myths about Lead in Drinking Water, written by Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou, affiliate faculty at Virginia Tech, President of Parents for Nontoxic Alternatives, and founding member of the Campaign for Lead Free Water. Dr. Lambrinidou’s article addresses many of the misconceptions surrounding the issue of lead in drinking water in the United States, and offers her reflections of why these misconceptions exist. We are very grateful for Dr. Lambrinidou’s contribution to this newsletter and for her steadfast dedication to the lead in water issue.
The following two articles are ones that we contributed that talk about lead and its relation to the food we consume. Nutrition to Help Prevent Lead Poisoning, is pretty self-explanatory from the title—our nutritional status, among other things, plays a role in the amount of lead that the body retains. Lead in Hunting Ammunition and Food Safety, addresses the risk of lead exposure from consuming game meat that was hunted using lead bullets.
From there we move onto a more commonly-known lead risk: the risk from lead in paint. Elizabeth O’Brien writes about Australia's Legislation Banning Lead Compounds in Paints and Inks and her organization’s role in making that happen. In the Q&A piece that follows, Elizabeth offers advice to Australians on how to select a vehicle that does not contain lead in the paint. Kudos to Elizabeth and The LEAD Group for keeping the conversation on lead awareness going—in Australia and beyond!
This month’s newsletter also features the winners of this year’s Volcano Art Prize. Thank you to the many talented artists who submitted their photos, drawings, and videos containing a lead awareness message.
Our last article, My Experience of Living with the Aftermath of Occupational Lead Poisoning, is Wayne’s personal lead poisoning story. It is not meant to elicit pity or sympathy. Rather, it is meant to provide a real living example of what lead can do to someone even years later.
Lead is nothing to mess around with; it can change the course of someone’s life. No amount of lead in the human body has been proven to be safe.
Wayne Askew is a United States Navy veteran and former painter/historical home restoration specialist. He started his lead advocacy work in the 1980s when he found out he was lead poisoned. Over the past 30+ years, he has lived with the lingering health effects of lead poisoning and seeks to help and inspire others by sharing his knowledge and lived experience. Follow him on Twitter @WayneAskew3.
Maria Askew, BS, RN, CCRN, is a registered nurse and graduate student. Follow her on Twitter @MariaAskewRN.
Disclaimers: The views expressed by the editors of this newsletter have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the editors are affiliated. Nothing contained in this newsletter should be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Information contained in the newsletter is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-nurse relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.