Below is an e-mail I sent to a family
that I recently had a home visit with.
that I recently had a home visit with.
February 6, 2019
When we met you asked about ways to get the lead out of blood (and out of the body) if kiddos test positive.
In my documentary film’s interview with Dr. Bruce Lanphear he states that 90% of the Lead that your body has ever been exposed to is still in your body (absorbed by your soft tissue and your bones and recirculated [and then reabsorbed] with injury or other major physical events – like pregnancy.)
That said, based on the personal research I have done (and my interest in removing as much lead as possible from my children’s bodies], I chose to do whole food based chelation for my sons. What this means is focusing on dietary changes that emphasize foods (or whole food-based supplements) that have been scientifically proven to eliminate lead from the body.
Natural chelation is controversial (at best) but given it is a non-medical intervention and can include simple things like increasing the amount of garlic you add to the diet, I don’t personally believe there is the potential for food-based interventions to be harmful.
While I am not a doctor (I think I have to say that!) I have written a few posts about this on my blog based on my personal experience with my children and the research I have done in an effort to help my own family. Please take a look at the following links to start and share them with your wife if you think they might be helpful:
My main concern about doing anything beyond food-based interventions is that a lot of supplements actually contain unsafe levels of Lead. Supplements that I have learned contain unsafe levels of lead (but that are sold with accompanying marketing materials and testimonies stating they help the body to eliminate lead) include modified citrus pectin, bentonite clay, and any (and possibly all) calcium supplements. The article linked here provides some context as it talks about one supplement that people often take because they have been told it eliminates lead, when in fact it has the potential to poison the user: https://tamararubin.com/2017/12/very-well-written-article-surprising-danger-of-bentonite-clay/
For some background:
Food and beverages are considered toxic when they have measurable lead in the parts per billion range (between 1 and 100 ppb for most foods or beverages), you can read more about that at the following links on my blog:
Most supplement manufacturers only test their products down to low thresholds in the single digit parts per million (ppm) levels — whereas, in my opinion, based on current food-based standards — toxicity for any products or substances intended for direct human ingestion should always be measured and expressed in parts per billion. Unfortunately almost every supplement info sheet I have seen has said something along the lines of …. their product is “negative for Lead, to levels below ‘5 ppm'” (or “1 ppm”, etc..)
The thing is, this level of specificity (or lack of specificity) could still mean their product is positive for 4 ppm Lead, which is 4,000 ppb (parts per billion) Lead — and definitely not considered to be a safe level of Lead for daily human consumption (if this level of Lead were found in food, for instance.)
The reason supplements often have unsafe levels of Lead is two-fold:
1) If they are made of a substance that purports to “naturally bind” to lead (to help eliminate it from the body) then it is likely they have also concentrated lead in their source form. For example calcium: Lead bio-mimics calcium. Many doctors prescribe calcium supplements to people who have tested positive for Lead. The claim is that “if there is sufficient calcium in the body then the body will not absorb the lead in the place of calcium”. However, because Lead bio-mimics calcium, the natural sources of calcium that are often used for supplements (bone calcium, coral calcium or even plant-based calcium) might also be high in Lead themselves, and concentrating those sources to make a supplement may concentrate the Lead in those sources as well as the calcium, causing a lead-exposure risk from the supplement itself.
2) Supplements are highly processed. This means they are most often made on machines with moving parts. Machines with moving parts almost always have high-Lead brass components that wear. When these high-Lead brass components wear, the “trace levels” of Lead that wear off of the machinery often end up in the product they are processing – the supplements. [This is true of nearly all highly processed foods – including protein powder drinks, chocolate, packaged juices and other similar highly processed foods that purport to confer various health benefits!]
Across the board I have not found any supplements (beyond NDF by BioRay, which is a food-based liquid supplement made from cilantro and chlorella) that are guaranteed to be truly Lead-free (as tested and confirmed by independent third-party labs.) As a result, I suggest that parents always ask for the “white paper” from the manufacturer for any supplements that they intend to give their children. Specifically, when requesting this information ask for any toxicity testing that has been done (for Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic and other metals) — and both the “low threshold of detection”, and the “margin of error” for the testing that was done.
Some supplement manufacturers will readily provide that information; others might claim it is “proprietary”. What you are specifically looking for is independent third-party testing of supplements to help confirm they have the lowest possible levels of Lead (before choosing to give them to your children or before choosing to take them if you are a pregnant adult.)
Because supplement manufacturers are not manufacturing products that are tested to levels that are considered “food-safe” for Lead, I generally limit any supplements I give to my children (specifically I don’t give them any supplements — unless they are sick, and there is supplement that a trusted healthcare provider specifically recommends for helping them with their healing process, where the potential benefit outweighs any potential risk.)
When we met, I mentioned that the parent-run “The Lead (Pb) Group” on Facebook has several parents who have taken it upon themselves to do extensive research on specific supplements before deciding to use them for their children. These parents have posted a lot of the results of their research in the group. I encourage you to join the group to check out that information and to connect with other parents on this concern (as my approach – not giving supplements to my children because these products are not sufficiently tested for Lead, and not proven to be Lead-free – may seem a bit “extreme” to some). In this way you can collect information on products of interest and read the conclusions of a larger set of folks who are wrestling with these same questions, evaluating their various findings, choices and recommendations for yourself. Here’s the link to that group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LeadSafe/
As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this. (I’m also going to share this e-mail on my blog! 😉 #ThingsIHaveBeenMeaningToWriteForAWhile
Tamara E. Rubin
I was looking at the book “Detox Your Home” by Christine Dimmick for the first time a few days ago, and to my surprise, I saw Tamara’s name in there! I was not expecting that! It’s on page 143, and there’s a link to her website.
I read the paragraph on lead in calcium supplements on page 138 of the book Getting The Lead Out, and page 120 of the book Lead Is A Silent Hazard. I got a pamphlet on the calcium supplement “AlgaeCal” from a health food store, and I’m guessing that those two books don’t address Calcareas.sp (I think the .sp stands for “species”) as a source of calcium. It’s from algae collected wild from the oceans of South America, and is the size of a golf ball. It does say on the pamphlet that it contains .082 ppm nickel and different numbers, all in the ppm, of various other elements, but no mention of lead, arsenic, mercury, or cadmium in that list in the pamphlet I pickedup. I am curious how much lead and other nasties AlgaeCal has, if any, in the parts per billion? If it’s low, then I’ll consider buying some.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/15376516.2010.490966?scroll=top&needAccess=true (this is the same study about the safety of AlgaeCal)
The cost of the above scientific journal article is $54 USD! Yikes! I don’t want to pay for it. Maybe someone in one of your Facebook groups would be willing to pay for it.
I would also be interested in knowing if the raised white pain and light green paint on the outside of the brown glass Saje brand essential oil bottles contain lead or other nasties. I’m also interested in the following, if you’re wondering what your readership is most interested in seeing more of:
Perfume bottles, such as popular ones like Chanel Chance, White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor, Jean Paul Gauthier, The Body Shop’s mango perfume oil, etc. Planters, toothbrush colored bristles (I saw your post on Nimbus), empty spritzer bottles you can buy at dollar stores, plant misters/sprayers, dumbbells, ankle weights, wristwatches, the enamel inside a clothes dryer and washing machine, or any other part that would touch your clothes. The prongs inside a dishwasher, that touch the goblets. Orthopedic and podiatric (if that’s a word!) devices. Toaster buttons and knobs. Buttons on surgical microscopes. Buttons on estheticians’ machines (their circle magnifier lamp, their microdermabrasion machine, laser machines, etc), wax pot lid knobs, etc.). The colorful silicone petals of the Forb flower baby bottle brush by Boon (I saw your post on Munchkin). Other brushes and sponges that are used to clean kitchens. Buttons, attachments, and handles of vacuum cleaners. Calculators. Wetsuits and Kokatat drysuits. Kayak paddles. Swimmer’s noseplugs and earplugs. Prescription eyeglasses (I saw your post about the red sunglasses). Computer printer buttons. Binders, rulers, duotangs, the writing on the sides of pens and pencils. Bedside alarm clocks and wall clocks. Tennis racket grips. Soccer cleats. Shin pads. Maybe some estheticians or plastic surgeons would be interested in having you test their offices.
Forgive me if you’ve covered some of those already, but I did search for some of them.
Hi! I was wondering if you have tested calcium glycerophosphate? I use a small amount of a flouride free toothpaste for my daughter who cannot spit yet (brand name “hello”). This is one of the ingredients.
There is a supplement by the name of “Curcumin Turmeric Root Extract 95%” by the Oregon company “PureBulk” that was manufactured January 2nd, 2019 and tested June 27th, 2019, and was found to have:
Cadmium: <0.01 ppm
Arsenic: <0.02 ppm
Mercury: <0.01 ppm
There wasn't a unit of measurement beside "Lead", but I'm just going to assume they mean ppm. I know how you talk about food and supplements needing to be measured in the parts per billion range and not parts per million. So are these results good or bad? Should I avoid taking this supplement? https://i.imgur.com/GftnaSe.png
Tamara I stumbled upon an article I wanted to share with you:
https://news.stanford.edu/2019/09/24/lead-found-turmeric/ After just eating turmeric, I’m perturbed. I think the video of lead being poured into the spices will bother you as much as it did me. Please advice as to your opinion on spices in the U.S. I found an article stating that the FDA, “has no limit to the amount of lead and heavy metals in spices.” Would this ever be an article topic for you? I’d love to read it. Kind regards and the best to your family.
Just sending a link, before they remove it of a major ‘well-trusted’ natural supplement company (Megafood) admitting on their site…. complete with pics of what you referenced in this blog about machinery…. they’re using 1940s tablet presses with chipping layers of paint (being touched by the operator who will then handle the tablets) and who knows what kind of materials (lead) in the actual metal that’s doing the pressing of the pills!