QUESTION: Do you have a list of doctors or clinics for lead poisoning management after 27 yrs of smelter work? 30/05/10 Queensland, Australia
My husband Paul has worked in Lead Smelters on and off from 1978 until 2005. He once had a high recording in 2005 in China.
For the last few years, Paul has displayed symptoms that have caused us to seek help from a psychiatrist and a neurologist. His MRI and cognitive tests have given us cause for concern that he may be suffering from chronic lead poisoning. Nobody seems to be able to advise us where we can seek help. I'm writing to ask you if you have a list of doctors, clinics or whatever, that we could contact in this regard.
Thank you for your help.
EMAIL TWO Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:04 AM
Thank you for getting back to me.
Yes, we are very interested in all these things you offer, especially the nutrition info pack.
Unfortunately, Paul has only had two blood tests to check his levels in all this time. One was in 1997 at the Mt Isa Mines Medical Centre so we most likely can't get that information. The other was with QML in 2005. We will try to obtain that one. He had a follow-up of this one done a few months later which showed the level had dropped safely.
Paul's lead exposure was always monitored by a tag he wore on his belt at each job. Because a lot of his work was in foreign countries, we have no way of obtaining that data.
Paul's neurologist said that blood levels won't indicate tissue invasion so a further test wouldn't benefit. He also said there is no other test he knows of that could clarify Paul's status. We would like to believe there is some further help available which is what prompted me to contact you.
Thank you for your help so far and we look forward to your future emails.
Liz (and Paul)
EMAIL THREE From: Paul Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:30 AM
Subject: RE: Info Pack 23 - Nutrition to fight lead poisoning
thanks 4 info
ANSWER: Jun 17 2010
I'm sorry to hear about your husband's poor health despite him not having worked in lead smelters for the past five years. Chronic lead poisoning sounds like a definite possibility for him but he should certainly have regular blood lead tests (ask any doctor) to track whether the bone-stored lead is moving into his bloodstream currently. I would be very interested to know his history of blood lead levels - especially if there are enough data-points that it can be graphed over time. This is an important assessment tool for occupational exposure and a recent study from the United States recommends a maximum career exposure of 400 microgram years per decilitre (microgram years per decilitre is basically the unit for the area under the blood lead curve over time).
I will email you our Info Pack on Nutrition to Fight Lead Poisoning, as well as our Info Packs on Case Management After Earlier Lead Poisoning, which contains some strategies for finding a doctor with experience in assessing and managing lead poisoning, and Occupational Health & Safety in Relation to Lead. If you reply to me, I can add your email address to our Lead Workers egroup so that you or your husband can email the dozens of members of the egroup (using just one email address) to ask their advice on doctors in your area as well, and to discuss any other questions that arise.
All the best and I hope to hear from you again soon.
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