First of all, your humble blogger and “lotería caller” wishes to ask your indulgence for the long and unexpected break in the “Health Lotería;” a series of conflicts and technical problems interfered with the lotería for a while. The good thing is that we’re back — and hopefully for a good while this time.
This week — from 19 to 25 October 2008 — is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The image of the “cantarito” from the lotería reminds us that toxic lead can not only reach us in work materials, old pipes or house paint, but also in clay or ceramic containers like some handcrafts for sale in Mexico and along the border, as well as home remedies such as “greta” and “azarcón”. Lead is a silent poison — high levels of lead in the blood do not show obvious symptoms until they are already causing permanent damage in the brain and body. Children run an even greater risk from lead because they can be affected by smaller quantities of lead than adults.
Please read the following documents to understand what are the possible sources of lead that could affect you and your family. If you believe that it’s possible that you or a member of your family could have been exposed to lead, it’s very important that you or your family member goes to the doctor and gets tested for the level of lead in the blood.
- From MedlinePlus: Lead poisoning (summary and medical encyclopedia)
- From the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency): A video program (6 min 38 sec)
- From the DSHS (Department of State Health Services): “Lead in Your Food and Home Remedies.”
- From the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Enviromental Quality): Lead Poisoning: What are the Sources? What are the Risks?