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QUESTION: Could you provide background evidence on the long term effects of lead in adults? - 06 Aug 2007 Victoria, Australia


I contacted you last week concerning lead levels in indoor firing ranges. I am contacting you in relation to some research I have been conducting. This research is currently at a personal level and if you can help me in any way, I would appreciate it if you could contact me on my home email address.

The research I have conducted has some what dismayed me in that very little is dedicated to the long term effects of lead in adults. Or am I looking in the wrong places? Deep medical documentation is of no value as I am not a medical practitioner.

I have some questions that I would like to ask. If you could provide background evidence, such evidence would be greatly appreciated. They are as follows:

  1. What is the actual link between zinc blood levels and lead blood levels?

  2. Is there a link between lead, antimony and mercury toxicity? Can they be related and occur at the same time?

  3. Calcium deficiency has been related to long exposure to lead, how can this be tested for? Is bone density an accurate indicator given a long term lead blood level?

  4. Tooth decay also appears to be a problem for people who have had long term exposure to lead. Once again, the relationship between mercury in the form of fillings and lead comes together to form a link. Is there any indication of this?

  5. Paralysis of the limb extremities is another of the long term effects I have turned up. Can this be in the form of numbness in the fingers and toes, or is it related purely to immobility?
  6. In adults, is testing the hair the best method of determining current toxicity levels?

I realise that there is a lot of subjective content in my questions, but my research has led me to many generic and non specific sites. I also am starting to find sites that contradict other sites. There is also a fair amount of people who will not confirm or deny long term effects with sit on the fence answers such as; "That has not been confirmed.", or "That information is not substantiated."

Your help would be appreciated and I can assure you, I will never close split-shot sinkers on my fishing line ever again!


Peter Booth

ANSWER: 09 Jun 2009

Dear Peter,

First of all, we apologize deeply for the tremendous delay in response to your question. For a while now, we have had a lack of staff who answer the incoming email. Your research sounds quite interesting and it is true that most researches are on the long term effect of lead in children and that is probably because of the effect on the developing brain. I do not know if you had finished your research or not but, if you have, we would be very happy to publish it on our website, if you wish. On the other hand, if you have not finished yet and you still need our assistance, we would be happy to help. Just confirm that by email or call us on the phone and this time we will not disappoint you.

Good luck


Iman Hegazi

MBBS, MD. Forensic Medicine and Toxicology


See: Health Impacts of Lead Poisoning

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