Ideally we could all answer that by saying nothing but good old H20 but we know from the ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan , that is not the case. The devastating effects of lead poisoning on an entire city, and its future generations, should NEVER have occurred!! In fact, it’s still a major problem in cities across the U.S. including New York, San Diego, Oakland and Chicago .

Picture courtesy of Global Health Now

If you’re not aware, October 21st-27th is the CDC’s Nation Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW), try saying that 3 times fast! I recently was interviewed by home improvement expert Lou Manfredini, on his national radio show House Smarts to discuss NLPPW. You can listen here (around the 26 min mark) or here (around the 36 min mark). The goal of this week is to raise awareness of an ever present and nefarious problem. So, let’s start with some basics.

Lead is a metal. It can be found in pipes or other metal objects. However, it can also be found in dust, wall paint, old toys/toys made outside of the US, pottery, soil and even drinking water. Lead can be inhaled or ingested.
In older homes, built before 1978, lead paint may still be found on the walls. Paint that has chipped or peeled can turn in to dust. That dust can be inhaled or directly ingested if a child puts their hands in their mouths which is common in toddlers. Or paint chips that are eaten can also be a culprit.
Older pipes can have lead in them. Water consumed from those pipes can be a source of lead contamination and can put families at risk for lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning is less common in adults. However, exposure can occur if one has a job or hobby where they work with lead paint, are exposed to lead fumes or are completing a home remodeling project.

Many children are asymptomatic. This is where the importance of screening comes in. Your child’s doctor will know when they should be tested. A simple lead level can be done at a routine office visit. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no safe level of lead for children and childhood lead poisoning is considered the most preventable environmental disease among young children.
Some symptoms include: fatigue, stomach pains, constipation and vomiting.
Lead poisoning can cause potentially irreversible damage, especially in children. Potential problems include but are not limited to:
damage to the brain & nervous system,
slowed growth and development,
learning and behavior problems
hearing and speech problems

  • Ok enough gloom and doom!! When there’s a problem we need viable solutions right? So, here are some tips to help prevent lead poisoning.

LIMIT EXPOSURE (paint, soil)
If lead is found in your home, hire a contractor certified in lead abatement
Adequate nutritional intake of calcium, vitamin C and iron are recommended to minimize lead absorption and prevent PICA. A well balanced diet and daily multivitamin for you and your kids should do.
A safe and easy thing homeowners can do is get a lead testing kit that can be found at many hardware stores. These allow people to test for lead on various surfaces in their home like mini blinds, soil, plumbing pipes, fixtures, children’s toys. These kits typically retail around $10.
Because household dust is a major source of lead, you should wet-mop floors and wet-wipe horizontal surfaces every 2-3 weeks to ensure surfaces are clean and you’re not ingesting any toxic dust
Now, what I’m about to share is my favorite solution, as it doesn’t involve cleaning or contractors!! It’s an on the go solution called astrēa ONE. Astrēa ONE is the ONLY portable water bottle that is NSF53 certified to filter lead and other heavy metals. It also improves the taste of water by reducing chlorine and zinc. It’s BPA free and keeps water cold for 12 hours!! No more hot bottled water, which is an entirely different problem, and so long to excess landfill waste! The sleek design and convenient fill spout make it easy to carry; so, your family can have safe drinking water on the go no matter where you are!

Now that you’ve got the deets, check out astrēa and use code ASTREA20 for a discount on the only portable water bottle certified for lead removal. Also make sure to follow astrēa across social media:




As always thanks for following and be well!!

Dr. King