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Child & Teen Health

Lead poisoning: What everyone needs to know

February 2, 2016

About the Author

photo of Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy … See Full Bio
View all posts by Claire McCarthy, MD


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March 19, 2016

I need a professional to write me a letter that any amount of lead can cause damage. Most doctors will only say the standards are above 5 as they used to be 10. Why is it so hard for doctors to say that no lead levels are safe? I hope to call the health department and the Center for disease control. My children’s doctor wrote a letter but it was useless as it basically says if the lead is not above 5 it is fine for them to be in a home that has had lead and under construction by my ex spouse. Where would you suggest I get this type of information to prove that any lead level is dangerous?

March 17, 2016

What will it take for Harvard University to publish their own water quality data, for each facility? Why must employees remain in the dark?

Marvie Nimms
February 8, 2016

Is it really so hard to just sit with the discomfort we feel in hearing that our smallest citizens have been poisoned with an extremely potent neuro toxin? I don’t care how smart you are or what your philosophical musings are. I care about the fact that LEAD, the poison we all thought was a non issue remains a problem thirty eight years after it was supposedly dealt with. My grand daughter had a lead level of 54. She lives in CT. Lead lines in her bones! It’s not over. WE NEED TO ACKNOWLEDGE LEAD IS STILL A PROBLEM IN OUR COUNTRY.

anne gain
February 10, 2016

Excellent comment.

Richard Betancourt
February 5, 2016

If one’s child does test at five and above, is the damage already done, and if so, is it irreversible given the brain is still evolving virtually everyday at that very young age? If lead is discovered in the blood stream, can it be removed? Are commercially available filter systems capable of removing all traces of lead in the water passing through them? Is drinking wine from crystal goblets a risk for lead exposure from the action of the often acidic wine poured into them? Ditto for the crystal decanters used for long-term storage of brandies and/or other alcoholic beverages?

February 2, 2016

What about the damage that has already been done to the entire boomer generation, from TEL-gasoline? The data says the entire generation of boomers have brain damage. Could it be possible, that, what is considered normal behavior and health for the boomer generation, is a result of damage from lead? How do we benchmark a sound mind? Boomers are our political leaders and policy writers. This is a paradox that need addressed.

Bernard Corrigan
February 5, 2016

You have just answered the question of how the Tea Party has come to be. The Tea Party advocates policies which are directly opposed to the personal well being of most of the members of the Tea Party. Most Tea Party members are Boomers or older and lead induced group dementia could be the root of this self destructive behavior.

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