QUESTION: Aero bore operator with high blood lead level during pregnancy,
22 Aug 2004,
In 1996 when pregnant with my first child i was told that i had high lead levels. Not surprising to me as i lived on a main road, in a 90 yr old house being renovated and worked in a factory as an aero bore operator (shaving lead from bearings to cut them to size). My Doctor then explained that this may affect my child i was carrying but there was no way of knowing until she grew up. The factory i was working in took ample blood tests, and the nurse told me over and over even thou we all could see the lead accumulation on the fans daily, that there was no way in our jobs that we would be affected. I also breast fed my daughter for 12 months.
My daughter is nearly 8, she is a very emotional and attention less child, she has always physically been a taller older looking girl, with a very younger behaviour type. Also she is very argumentative and oblivious to the world around her.
I don't know what to do to help her, i feel that lead is a probable cause, how do i confirm this and how is it treated?? I have mentioned it to doctors before and they all have said that children grow out of their behaviour or maybe i should change mine, and that lead would not have caused any dramatic change in my child's development.
I'm in need of help!!!!!! Who can help me?
ANSWER: 22 Aug 2004
I know you have not said that your daughter is autistic and I'm not suggesting that she is, but nevertheless there is a network for parents of lead poisoned children with autism that would be able to answer a lot of the questions you have asked. I am the moderator of the Plumbism and Autism Network (PAN) and I think it's simplest to join you up and if you would like to have a look at the archives on the website http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Lead/ you will, I think, find them very interesting, but the best thing to do is for you to forward your email to the network and see what kind of responses other parents send in.
I don't know how far away Carina is from where you live but Dr Gary Deed, GP, YourHealth Carina, has developed a treatment protocol for children with autism, which was mentioned in an article called "Finding their voice" by Louise Pemble in the Weekend Australian on 22-3 February 2003. Dr Deed treats 250 or so autistic children and adolescents with dairy-free diet/gluten-free diet, biomedical intervention, mineral supplements (if hair or blood tests show deficiencies), and oral DMSA chelation therapy (if the patient has high heavy metal in hair tests), and advocates the treatment be carried out in conjunction with other treatments such as speech and occupational therapies and learning programs such as applied behavioural analysis (ABA). The biomedical treatment is done by BioScreen in Melbourne on ph 0398994900. Since May 2003, YourHealth Carina is also able to offer intravenous chelation therapy.
Also, there are other doctors in Queensland trained by ACNEM (Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine) to carry out chelation therapy or urine chelation challenge testing to determine first whether your daughter has lead in her system. I wish I could say Medicare would pay for all this but they only seem to cover the urine lead analysis and you would have to work out with the doctor what else would be covered. Phone ACNEM on 0395896088 or find a doctor in your area from their website - Practitioner Listing
You might also want to check out High Tech Health, which is the distributor for health products that deliver health improvements in non-invasive and drug-free ways. High Tech Health distributes to over 120 health and medical practitioners around Australia providing it with a valuable web of resources and access to the end user." For the treatment of lead poisoning, High Tech Health imports and distributes the following:
See www.hightechhealth.com.au or phone 1800505108.
I don't want to scare you, and clearly not every lead poisoned foetus will end up with life-long impacts, but many doctors are simply not aware of the impacts so you might want to show your doctor one of the most recent research articles specifically on the topic of foetal lead poisoning - "Prenatal Lead Exposure,
delta-Aminolevulinic Acid, and Schizophrenia" attached.
Your blood lead level during and prior to your pregnancy would make a big difference to whether your daughter's problems might reasonably be explained by lead. Please also find attached an article called "Early death in adults linked to lead exposure - US study", from page 37 of ACTU Digest of Occupational Health and Safety Information, No. 17 June 2003, which points out that the "acceptable" blood lead level for workers is really not "acceptable" at all. Do you still have your records?
Good luck with everything - I wish you and your daughter the best.
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