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QUESTION: Where can I find out if long term effects from lead could be a factor in my health problems now? - 25 Feb 2007 Oklahoma,  USA

To whom it may concern,

When I was a teen my dad worked at prestolite battery.  He often wore his work clothes home. I know that he worked with lead a lot and that we were exposed to it.  I am now older and having a lot of health problems (such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and have a positive ANA (possible Connective Tissue Disorder). Where can I find out if long term effects from lead could be a factor in my health problems now?  Thanks for your help!

ANSWER: 25 Feb 2007

Dear Terry,

I had not heard of the brand name/manufacturing works you mentioned for lead acid batteries so I did a websearch and found this note at http://www.prestolite.com/pgs_kbase/kbaseSearch.php:

Batteries:

The Prestolite battery division was sold to Exide. They make Prestolite Branded Batteries. Contact information can be found on their website at: www.exide.com.

[END OF QUOTE FROM PRESTOLITE WEBSITE]

Interestingly, when I went to the Exide website I could find no mention of Prestolite on the site so maybe they stopped using the brand name. To answer your question, to find out if long term effects from lead could be a factor in your health problems now, the best first step is to have a blood lead test organised through your local doctor. It would also be extremely useful to know your father's blood lead levels at the time he was working at the lead acid battery manufacturing plant and later. You could contact Prestolite to ask if they still have his biological monitoring records. If your father is still alive, it would be extremely useful for him to have a blood lead test now. I have sent you our Info Pack 56 - "Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 g/dL " - to help you and your doctor interpret the blood lead results.

You can also review our "Health Impacts of Lead Poisoning - A preliminary listing of the health effects & symptoms of lead poisoning" at www.lead.org.au/fs/fst7.html to see if you have a cluster of symptoms that could be related to lead, but nothing substitutes for actual measurement of your lead level.

The other thing I suggest is to put your questions to other lead poisoned adults who have gone through this process. For this reason I have sent you an emailed invitation to join our Lead Poisoned Adults Egroup (LPAE). One of the newest members has created a detailed website of the process and what his search for answers to the question of what impact his father's occupational exposure to lead had on his family. You can see his website at Bellsystemleadpoisoning; and especially look at the family health effects section mentioned in the Annotated Bibliography (and other source material) at Lead_exposure_and_poisoning_in_the_Bell_System

I hope this helps in your quest.

Kind regards

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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