Of course we all know that lead is not good for us, but that our bodies can tolerate a certain amount without observable negative effects. If you are pregnant, however, that amount is much, much smaller. A recent headline on Science Daily’s website announced, “Lead exposure may affect blood pressure during pregnancy”.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have set thresholds for supposedly safe levels of lead at 40 um/dL, but in a study lead by Goldman of George Washington University’s School of Public Health, pregnant women who were exposed to lead had a significant increase in blood pressure at as low of a level as 2 um/dL! Of course blood pressure is typically somewhat higher during pregnancy, labor, and delivery as the heart pumps higher, but sustained high blood pressure during pregnancy (pregnancy-induced hypertension) can lead to preeclampsia and eclampsia, which can be fatal or predispose women to a heart attack in their future.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that action be taken by women to reduce exposures to lead. According to one medical professional, lead exposure must be considered not only during the pregnancy, but also before conception. “Because lead is stored in bones for many years, even childhood exposure could impact lead levels in pregnancy.” The hope is, this study will help determine a truly safe lead exposure level.
One common place of lead exposure is in drinking water. Even though municipalities test for and remove lead, much of the lead that people ingest comes into their water after water treatment, and more often than not, from the pipes, valves, and solder within our very homes. The solution? A point-of-use drinking water system that has been certified to remove lead. The most thorough of these systems are reverse osmosis or a drinking water system with LINX® Technology. These systems of usually offered as under-the-counter or in a convenient bottleless water cooler.
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