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Lead Levels Linked to High Blood Pressure

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

blood pressure monitor

Story at-a-glance -

  • Research reveals lead levels detected in the shin bone are predictive of a 19 percent increased risk of high blood pressure for every 15 micrograms per gram of lead in the bone
  • Scientists have known for decades of the neurological damage triggered by lead, responsible for $53 billion in health care costs, $35 billion in tax revenue losses and $146 million in special education costs
  • Strategies to reduce your exposure to lead include eliminating any lead-based paint in older homes and testing local municipal water supplies for lead; dietary changes and exercise may help reduce your reliance on medication to control your blood pressure
  • Periodontal disease, also associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, is related to increased inflammatory response in the body

Although lead-based paint has been banned from use in housing since 1978, nearly 535,000 children have blood lead levels high enough to damage their health. Nearly 24 million homes still have lead-based paint and contaminated dust, and nearly 5,300 water systems in the U.S. are in violation of lead and copper rules.

Researchers believe conservative estimates of community costs for lead poisoning in children include $53 billion in health care costs, $35 billion in tax revenue losses and $146 million in special education costs. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no known identified safe blood level for lead in children or adults.


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