By Lisa Cheaney-Hogan
Ever heard of lead? How about lead poisoning? You might be interested to know that although the skin is an excellent waterproof barrier, breaths and holds us all together; it is also porous and with that, absorbs more than you might think.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked into the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water. It showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of total contaminant dosage.
Published by, https://www.downtoearth.org, 2017. Original Source: Brown et al. The role of skin absorption as a route of exposure for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking water. Am J Public Health. 1984 May; 74(5): 479-484.
Ok, so why does this matter? What does this mean? How can I protect my family?
Take a look at the toys in your house/playroom/kids rooms….what do you see? Bright colours with animated faces and plastic figures that represent the latest childhood trend are what I see too. I’m just as guilty of this as the next mom but more recently, I’ve decided to really evaluate the meaning behind my own children’s play and how I could create a safer and more effective learning environment.
Whether you homeschool, teach in a classroom or have children at home, creating a safe environment really stems from the knowledge of the caregiver and the learning materials available. Remember growing up? I do! I was a late-80s/early-90s kid. I spent days and nights outside. Playing, running, collecting rocks, laying in the grass, riding bikes. Sticks were used as wands and rocks were used as marbles. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of toys as well, but nothing like what the kids have today (I guess every generation says that!). With that in mind, taking a ‘less is more’ approach and ‘quality versus quantity’ could save your health, clean-up and in-turn, your sanity.
About KidsHealth(2017) indicates that lead can be absorbed by inhaling or simply touching products with lead in it. Over time, even small amounts absorbed on a regular basis could lead to chronic lead poisoning.
Lead is particularly dangerous because once it gets into a person’s system, it is distributed throughout the body just like helpful minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc. And lead can cause harm wherever it lands in the body. In the bloodstream, for example, it can damage red blood cells and limit their ability to carry oxygen to the organs and tissues that need it, thus causing anemia.