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  QUESTION: Info Pack 56 - Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 g/dL - 19 Feb 2007  USA

To whom it may concern:

I am a holistic health practitioner, a massage therapist, and a registered aromatherapist and do a great deal of acupressure. I  have noticed on a particular client (healthy 50 year old) who would come in for deep tissue massage once a week, had not come in for 4 months. Suddenly she has a numb parts on her body, particularly along her spine. Along with this, she states that she has been getting shooting electrical impulses in her chest and back. This could be due to several things, but one thing the doctors don't look for is a high level of mercury or lead so I asked her if she had any mercury fillings. She said no, but then explained how, 20 years ago, she and her husband were resanding and repainting a house built in the 1930's and she came down with the worst headache that she has ever had. She doesn't remember any other symptoms, but states that that is when all of the problems in her neck started.

I gave her a recipe to use in her bath that is to remove mercury from her body. I told her that it also might work on lead, but wasn't sure. (If it does work, I will email you the recipe with the results). Frankly, I know nothing about lead and was wondering if some of these symptoms could be related.

In the mean time, I've told her I would do some research, but that she would need to see the doctor. She is like I am, and would rather treat this condition through alternative therapies. I know this could be due from many things, but I was just wondering if you had ever heard of this before. Thank you for your time and thoughts.

Sincerely, Pamela


From: "pgraycat"

To: The  Lead Group

Sent: Tuesday, 27 February, 2007 1:31 PM

Thank you for your response I will have her contact an ACAM person or a doctor  to test her blood. That would be the first step.

Thanks so much!

Sincerely, Pamela


ANSWER: 23 Feb 2007

Dear Pamela,

If someone was exposed to a high level of lead at the age of 30 and they are now 50, the usual symptom of most concern that is easy to test is high blood pressure. A second easy test is hearing loss. It is also, at any time, useful to test the blood lead level and any doctor can do this.

I have heard of people with very high blood lead levels having only the one symptom of headaches. But I do not recall having heard of lead poisoned people 20 years after a major exposure having numb parts on their body especially the spine. Pain in the joints and in the bones has been reported. You can see a list of symptoms of lead poisoning at Health Impacts of Lead Poisoning but the trouble with lead is that many other things can cause all the symptoms associated with lead. So a blood lead test at the time of exposure is the only sure-fire way that's available in Australia, of measuring the extent of the poisoning.

If you refer your client to an ACNEM-trained doctor (see, they can do a urine chelation challenge test to determine if there is any value in using chelation therapy. ACNEM stands for the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and is based in Melbourne.

But wait, you haven't said which country you are in so I can no longer assume it's Australia. Now I'll have to make a wild guess that you are in the United States. If you are in the United States you should find an alternative doctor from - the website of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), and also possibly from  - the website of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). I shall also send you our latest Info Pack on the dangers of a blood lead level above 2 micrograms per decilitre.

All the best

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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