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  QUESTION: Are any alternative dense materials as available as lead for weights, 27 Nov 2006, Victoria Australia

Many thanks for your support ...I made a neoprene cuff and child will trial this week, but significant consumer resistance !

Thanks for your rapid response.

I was aware of the causative role of lead in tremor...this child has cerebral palsy, and we seek ways to improve hand stability.

I have put a 3 mm strap of neoprene between the skin an weights.

Are you aware of any alternative dense materials that are as available as lead?


ANSWER: 29 Nov 2006

Dear Carol,

stainless steel has been used as an alternative to lead in various types of weights because it doesn't rust yet is readily available. Louis Berczia of Berczia Copper is a copper craftsman who told us that he is able to craft copper items that might replace some uses of lead, eg copper is more dense than steel and therefore a better substitute than steel strip for lead weights. Louis' contact details are 02 9316 7645, mob 0412 666 882

Also, Motion Industries is a manufacturer of steel ballbearings/pellets as a replacement for lead in the stuffing of teddy bears etc. Contact details: 02 9756 3977 FAX: 02 9756 3729.

Alternatively, for local suppliers, you can look up Yellow Pages under engineering works that do punching & phone them re: size/shape until you find what you need.

By the way, I wrote to the lead author, Dr Elan Louis, of the journal article on tremor and lead poisoning after I sent you the abstract. I asked whether they had researched the reversibility of tremor by treatment of the lead poisoning and they haven't but may do so in the future. Dr Louis kindly provided the full journal article (attached):

"Association Between Essential Tremor and Blood Lead Concentration" Elan D Louis, Eva C Jurewicz, LaKeisha Applegate, Pam Factor-Litvak, Michael Parides, Leslie Andrews, Vesna Slavkovich, Joseph H Graziano, Spencer Carroll, and Andrew Todd Environ Health Perspect. 2003 November; 111(14): 17071711.

Plus another one (also attached): "Interaction Between Blood Lead Concentration and delta-Amino-Levulinic Acid Dehydratase Gene Polymorphisms Increases the Odds of Essential Tremor" Elan D. Louis MS, MD, LaKeisha Applegate BA, Joseph H. Graziano PhD, Michael Parides PhD, Vesna Slavkovich MS, Hari K. Bhat PhD. Movement Disorders Volume 20, Issue 9, pages 11701177, September 2005.

All the best with the non-lead wrist weights and please let me know if you have any problems finding a supplier of the weights.

Elizabeth O'Brien


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