Low lead levels damage young brains

There's no safe level of exposure to toxic metals at any age -- and in kids, even low levels of lead exposure can do lasting damage to the brain at the most critical stages of development.

One new study shows how levels that were until recently considered perfectly normal can delay reading skills.

Kids with blood levels of between 5 and 9 mcg/dL scored an average of 4.5 points lower on standardized kindergarten reading tests than kids with levels below 5 mcg/dL.

And kids with blood lead levels higher than 10 mcg/dL scored an average of more than 10 points lower, according to the study on the effects of lead exposure in Pediatrics.

This isn't simply a reading problem. It's a sure sign of a brain problem -- a thinking problem -- yet until recently, the CDC considered lead levels up to 10 mcg/dL to be safe and normal!

There's clearly nothing safe about them

But if "normal" means "common," these levels are shockingly "normal." In fact, two-thirds of the kids in the study were above 5 mcg/dL, while a fifth hit 10 mcg/dL or higher.

That doesn't bode well for the future -- and it's not just young brains on the line here. Like other toxic metals, lead can accumulate in the body over the years.

In kids, lead exposure leads to developmental problems as seen in the new study. But even if you make it through childhood, the accumulation of lead can set you up for other problems later -- including everything from arthritis to dementia-like symptoms.

Holistic physicians (and holistic pediatricians) have been ahead of the curve from the beginning on metals. Slowly, over time, the mainstream is coming around to our thinking on this -- but they haven't come around completely yet.

If you're concerned about the development of your child or grandchild or the levels of metals and lead exposure they may have been exposed to, take him or her to see a holistic physician.

And while you're at it, get yourself tested, too. You might be shocked by what you learn -- and even more stunned to learn a "disease" you think you have isn't a disease at all. It's metals poisoning.

If you're in the Southern California area, I run the most comprehensive metals testing and detoxification programs around. Contact my office at 855-DOC-MARK for more information, or to make an appointment.