Lead is a fascinating mineral, and is considered by Dr. Eck as an older, male mineral. This means it is more yang in Chinese medical terms, and it has particular effects upon the body that may be described as more structural or yang.
Lead was and still is used very widely in industry due to its unusual properties. It works well as a lubricant, and was used in printing, gasoline manufacture, and hundreds of other applications.
Lead is sometimes called the horror mineral or a death mineral. This is because of its deadly nature or toxicity. The toxicity of lead is discussed below.
Interesting, some lead compounds are associated with selfishness, which is a lower center or older type of psychological quality.
A structural toxin. Lead is a structural death mineral. This means that it weakens the body severely. It replaces calcium in the bones, for example, weakening them and eventually causing one type of osteoporosis. It also replaces calcium in the blood cells, damaging the blood and causing a severe form of anemia.
It also goes to the brain, where it replaces calcium, magnesium and other vital elements there. It causes dementia, violence, impure thoughts and many other mental problems as a result. This is the way in which I mean that lead is a structural poison, unlike cadmium, for example, that poisons by means of replacing zinc, an enzyme activator.
SOURCES OF LEAD TOXICITY
These can include leaded gasoline, 'Grecian Formula' or ‘Youth Hair’ hair dyes, manufacture of batteries, smelting industries, lead-based paints, cigarette smoke, colored inks and food cans soldered with lead. It may also include ceramic glazes, contaminated drinking water, pesticide residues, food contaminated with lead from the soil or from pesticide use, and water that has passed through lead-soldered water pipes.
Many American and European children are likely born with elevated lead, passed through the placenta from their mothers. This is not revealed on every hair test, however, as lead can be deeply buried in the bones and elsewhere.
Diets deficient in calcium, magnesium, or iron increase lead absorption. Fast oxidizers are very prone to accumulate lead, as it replaces calcium that is usually in great demand in fast oxidizers. All babies and almost all young children are fast oxidizers.
DETECTION OF LEAD TOXICITY
Blood serum – This is excellent for acute lead toxicity. It is not nearly as accurate for chronic lead poisoning because most lead is removed from the blood within 30 days of exposure and stored in the tissues such as the hair.
Urine challenge tests. For this test, a person is given a dose of a chelating drug such as EDTA. Then one collects urine for 24 hours and measures the lead in the urine.
This test is definitely better to detect chronic lead poisoning than serum blood tests. However, it misses a lot of lead because the chelating agents mainy circulate in the blood and do not reach lead that is deeply stored in the bones and other body tissues.
Hair – The US Environmental Protection Agency review in 1979 showed hair to be an excellent method of testing for chronic lead poisoning. However, as with all toxic metal tests, hair mineral testing will also not detect lead that is stored deep in body tissues.
Hair testing only detects lead that is stored or being eliminated through the hair and skin at the time of the test. Hair testing will reveal much more lead if one retests the hair at regular 3-6-month intervals while one follows a nutritional balancing program. With this method, the hair lead level will rise and fall a number of times as more lead is eliminated from the body.
HOW LEAD AFFECTS THE BODY
Blood - inhibits enzymes associated with hemoglobin synthesis, and increases the rate of destruction of red blood cells. End result is fatigue.
Bones - lead is incorporated into bone in preference to calcium.
Brain - can inhibit copper-dependent enzymes needed for neurotransmitters (dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine). End result is hyperactivity, mental dullness and lowered IQ, violence and anti-social behavior.
Energy - inhibits copper and iron‑dependent enzymes in the Krebs cycle required for energy production. End result is fatigue.
Kidneys - lead can raise uric acid levels and impair kidney function. End result is gout.
Minerals ‑ lead displaces and can cause deficiency or bio‑unavailability of calcium, zinc, manganese, copper, and iron.
Thyroid gland - lead interferes with iodine uptake by the thyroid, and can inactivate thyroxin.
SYMPTOMS OF LEAD TOXICITY
back pain, low
brain function, abnormal
pyorrhea, tooth decay
mental retardation/lowered I.Q in children
ANTAGONISTS AND CHELATORS
phosphorus, calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, iron, zinc, dietary protein, vitamins C and E
HAIR ANALYSIS NOTES
Ideals. An ideal human hair lead level is probably around 0.03 m% or 0.3 parts per million. This is lower than most labs suggest. For more on ideal values, please read Mineral Levels In Human Hair on this site.
· Poor eliminator. The hair lead reading often indicates a poor eliminator or very poor eliminator pattern on a hair mineral test. This is a level below 0.03 mg%. For details about poor eliminators, read Poor Eliminator Patterns on this website.
· Slow to be eliminated, at times. As with other toxic metals, a number of years of nutritional balancing may be needed before lead is revealed as it is eliminated through the hair.
· Very high readings. Hair dyes containing lead occasionally cause very high hair readings. Lead is easily absorbed into the scalp when these products are applied. Please avoid products such as Youth Hair, Grecian Formula and other hair dyes that contain lead.
A LEAD PERSONALITY TYPE
This description was given to me about a partner who had a lot of lead in her body, along with very low zinc. The person was stubborn, sluggish, tired, mean, cruel, nasty, tough (meaning thick or dense), sad, lonely, in a daze, and “adrift”. All of this went away as the lead was eliminated from her body over a period of about 6 years.