Lead, Personality, and Mental Health: What is Happening to You?

Lead exposure and mental health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies lead as a neurotoxin. It is a naturally occurring metal that causes hazardous health effects, especially on the nervous system, in high concentrations and prolonged exposure. 

What is happening to your health?

Are you feeling fatigued? Having trouble in decision-making? Do you feel slower compared to your colleagues? It is not because you are lazy; you might have exposure to lead, causing delayed cognitive performance. It is an indication that you might have lead poisoning.

What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning is caused by exposure to lead. Some studies suggest that even low levels of lead can affect an individual’s cognitive performance. Individuals who are victims of lead poisoning can experience cramps, headaches, and hyperactivity. Usually, this condition can be diagnosed by having a blood test performed and checking your blood lead levels. The treatment of this condition includes finding and eliminating the source to prevent further exposure. Of course, other medical treatments are available; therefore, it is suggested to seek proper medical help.

Don’t allow the exposure to lead to affect your health. Request a lead-based paint inspection or a lead-based risk assessment to evaluate the condition of your home’s lead levels by an EPA-certified Lead paint inspector. Call Manhattan Lead today!

How is lead affecting your brain and body?

The science behind how lead affects your brain

Lead affects your brain by interrupting neuron communication. It mimics calcium and blocks the release of ACh at the synapse. It also promotes the release of excessive amounts of ACh, which causes attention deficit and hyperactivity.

By mimicking calcium, lead crosses the blood barrier and enters the brain. This way, neurons mistake lead for calcium. Without calcium, the brain cannot engage in the important process of synaptogenesis. When synaptogenesis is interfered with by lead, cellular communication, brain maturity, and normal functioning are significantly affected.

Early Cellular apoptosis

Apoptosis is triggered by calcium interacting with the Mitochondria in the cell’s nucleus. When a child has lead poisoning, lead in the brain causes otherwise healthy cells to die permanently. This causes the loss of IQ and other neurodevelopmental impairments in children.

Lead affects different parts of the brain

Lead exposure affects all brain regions, including the vulnerable frontal lobe, which undergoes development during childhood. The frontal lobe, responsible for regulating hyperactivity, executive function, and aggression, is susceptible to lead-induced damage.

Additionally, lead impacts the Prefrontal cortex, a crucial brain region responsible for learning, decision-making, and behavior, also known as executive function. The toxic effects of lead on these cognitive processes can have long-lasting consequences on an individual’s abilities and behaviors.

Lead effects on the body

Lead exposure risks all brain and human body parts, leaving no area unaffected. Various regions of the body respond differently to lead exposure; these distinct reactions are explored in the following section.

Brain: Lead lowers IQ and triggers ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, loss of memory and executive function, early cell death, and aggressiveness.

Heart: Children with lead poisoning are at risk of high blood pressure as adults.

Kidneys: Chronic exposure to lead can lead to chronic inflammation and kidney failure in adults.

Bones: Lead can slow bone growth in children

Reproduction: lead can delay puberty and lower sperm count. High lead levels in pregnant women can cause premature birth and low birth weight.

Keep your family safe from lead poisoning. Contact Manhattan Lead to book your appointment.

Lead effects on Socio-Economic behaviors

Extensive studies on the effects of lead on human behaviors and socioeconomic achievements have unequivocally concluded that lead exposure significantly impacts all aspects of an individual’s life. Specifically, these studies have established a direct causal relationship between lead poisoning and the increased likelihood of engaging in future infractions or misdemeanors.

Because lead poisoning can interfere with the connection between the brain and the neurons, many children face learning disabilities and mood swings. Due to this, these children never reach their full academic potential. A study on lead blood levels and SAT scores successfully developed an inverse relationship between the two variables. Which suggested that children with high lead blood levels have lower SAT scores and vice versa. 

Not only that, but high lead blood levels are also responsible for enhanced agitation in individuals. Which is likely to result in future emotional outbursts and public misconduct. This is the reason, provided by most studies to develop a directly proportional relationship between high lead blood levels and high crime rates.

Read More: Four Potential Dangers Associated with Lead Exposure to Ensure a Safer Living Environment

Lead poisoning causes, symptoms, and treatment

Lead poisoning is caused by excessive exposure to lead products and prolonged stay in an area with lead dust. Although many government regulations are present to prevent lead exposure, precaution is still suggested from secondhand toys, thrift clothing, and old paint. Experts also suggest constant home lead inspections to ensure the safety of your children.

However, suppose you have been exposed to lead for a significant period, or you get fatigued, irrational, have digestive problems, high blood pressure, or have muscle and joint disorder. In that case, it is highly suggested to get appropriate medical help.

While many medical treatments treat lead poisoning, the best solution is to eliminate the lead source and keep your surroundings as lead-free as possible. This gives your body and mind enough time to heal itself naturally. 

If you are looking forward to making your home a lead-free space for yourself and your family. Contact Manhattan Lead Inspections and schedule an EPA-certified Lead Paint Inspection today.