Generally, hair is a good indicator of exposure to Lead (Pb). However, elevated levels of Pb in head hair can be an artifact of hair darkening agents, or dyes, e.g. lead acetate. Although these agents can cause exogenous contamination some transdermal absorption does occur. Pb has neurotoxic and nephrotoxic effects in humans as well as interfering with heme biosynthesis.
Pb may also affect the body’s ability to utilize the essential elements calcium, magnesium, and zinc. At moderate levels of body burden, Pb may have adverse effects on memory, cognitive function, nerve conduction, and metabolism of vitamin D. Children with hair Pb levels greater than 1 μg/g have been reported to have a higher incidence of hyperactivity than those with less than 1 μg/g. Children withhair Pb levels above 3 μg/g have been reported to have more learning problems than those with less than 3 μg/g. Detoxification therapy by means of chelation results in transient increases in hair lead. Eventually, the hair Pb level will normalize after detoxification is complete.
Symptoms associated with excess Pb are somewhat nonspecific, but include: anemia, headaches, fatigue, weight loss, cognitive dysfunction and decreased coordination.
Sources of exposure to Pb include: welding, old leaded paint (chips/dust), drinking water, some fertilizers, industrial pollution, lead-glazed pottery, Ayruvedic herbs and use of firearms.
$79 per year
$6.60 per month billed annually
$79 per year
Save time on interpreting lab results with the largest database of biomarkers online. In-depth research on any test at your fingertips, all stored and tracked in one place.Learn More