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Did I Hear Right? 07/30/2014

“Read my lips!  You’re aging!”

Um, yeah – I am.  That’s an astute observation.

Say, what do you suppose will happen to the lead in my body when I stop aging?  Where will it go when I’m cremated?

The typical 70 kg body contains 0.12 grams or 0.0002% lead.   70 kilograms = 154.323584 pounds which is what I weighed in high schoolWhen your body is only two ten-thousandths of one percent lead, you don’t have a very large margin for error.

Ignoring the cheap shot at my hearing, and the obvious lack of concern for the affect of lead on older vulnerable persons . . . is hard to do.  One need only look at the people sitting in the ballpark to realize that many are over 70.  And some are frail.  This whole business isn’t about the middle of the age spectrum – it’s about the people at the edges.

The Center for Disease Control says:

Human data: It has been reported that 714 mg/kg of lead acetate (i.e., about 450 mg/kg of lead) is the lethal oral dose [Takahashi 1975]. [Note: An oral dose of 450 mg Pb/kg is equivalent to a 70-kg worker being exposed to 21,000 mg Pb/m3 for 30 minutes, assuming a breathing rate of 50 liters per minute and 100% absorption.]”

This is the dose that kills a little slower than a lethal bullet would.  It is called Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentrations (IDLHs)

It’s when we look at lower dosages that lead (Pb) becomes insidious.  Rather than creating acute symptoms, lower dosages create chronic symptoms which may go undetected, undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed.
The EPA says “lead is considered a hazard when equal to or exceeding 40 micrograms of lead in dust per square foot on floors, 250 micrograms of lead in dust per square foot on interior window sills, and 400 parts per million (ppm) of lead in bare soil in children's play areas or 1200 ppm average for bare soil in the rest of the yard.”  In other words, Lead in play areas is considered three times as dangerous as lead in other parts of the yard. In addition, paint in deteriorating condition, on a friction or impact surface, or on certain chewable surfaces is also defined as a hazard.”  (Accents are mine –tvb)

I call your attention to the fact that there is a children’s play area behind the grandstands in the Mini Met.

You may want to look at the following link to a document from the National Institutes of Health, but I warn you, if you read what's there with any level of comprehension, you might find yourself as angry as the person who came to the microphone at our last meeting.

Here's the link:


I call your attention to just a couple of the things you will find on that page.

First, the abstract of the total article.  I have highlighted some points.

Lead is a ubiquitous environmental toxin that is capable of causing numerous acute and chronic illnesses. Population studies have demonstrated a link between lead exposure and subsequent development of hypertension (HTN) and cardiovascular disease. In vivo and in vitro studies have shown that chronic lead exposure causes HTN and cardiovascular disease by promoting oxidative stress, limiting nitric oxide availability, impairing nitric oxide signaling, augmenting adrenergic activity, increasing endothelin production, altering the renin-angiotensin system, raising vasoconstrictor prostaglandins, lowering vasodilator prostaglandins, promoting inflammation, disturbing vascular smooth muscle Ca2+ signaling, diminishing endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation, and modifying the vascular response to vasoactive agonists. Moreover, lead has been shown to cause endothelial injury, impede endothelial repair, inhibit angiogenesis, reduce endothelial cell growth, suppress proteoglycan production, stimulate vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and phenotypic transformation, reduce tissue plasminogen activator, and raise plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 production. Via these and other actions, lead exposure causes HTN and promotes arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and cardiovascular disease. In conclusion, studies performed in experimental animals, isolated tissues, and cultured cells have provided compelling evidence that chronic exposure to low levels of lead can cause HTN, endothelial injury/dysfunction, arteriosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. More importantly, these studies have elucidated the cellular and molecular mechanisms of lead's action on cardiovascular/renal systems, a task that is impossible to accomplish using clinical and epidemiological investigations alone.

“Over 95% of the total body lead content resides in the bone, where the half-life of lead is decades long. Consequently, bone serves as the principal repository of this element in the body.
Gradual release of lead from the bone serves as a persistent source of toxicity long after cessation of external exposure.
  The rate of release of lead from the skeleton is increased in conditions associated with heightened bone reabsorption/turnover, such as pregnancy, lactation, menopause, osteoporosis, immobilization, and hyperthyroidism. The kidney is the principal route of lead excretion.”

There’s a lot more where that came from

About smooth muscle signaling, here's what that is:


Smooth muscle cells form a continuous layer that lines the walls of the hollow organs of the body, such as blood vessels, intestines, urinary bladder, airways, lymphatics, penis, and uterus. A defining feature of smooth muscle cells is their ability to contract. This property reflects the excitable nature of these cells, which allows for membrane potential-dependent influx of calcium (Ca2?) and the Ca2?-dependent formation of cross-bridges between myosin and actin—the two major contractile proteins that drive contraction. The contractile property of smooth muscle plays an important functional role in these organs, notably by allowing dynamic changes in luminal volume. These changes may regulate the translational movement of the organ’s contents, such as in the gastrointestinal tract, where the peristaltic action caused by sequential contraction of smooth muscle segments is responsible for the movement of food, and the urinary bladder, where smooth muscle in the wall relaxes during filling and contracts forcefully to expel urine during micturition. Uterine smooth muscle plays a similar role, relaxing during gestation to accommodate fetal growth and contracting vigorously during parturition. In the vasculature, the contractility of smooth muscle in the vessel wall is a primary determinant of blood pressure, which in turn controls blood flow and the distribution of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body.”

And here’s the link to the paper that contained the above information:

Again, if you read with comprehension, you will realize lead can affect how your winky works.  Not good.

One more, this from the University of Michigan Health System 

“Lead poisoning is common.  At lower levels, subtle changes can happen in brain function.  The child may appear healthy and normal, or may have symptoms like:

acting irritable or grouchy
behavior problems (like acting hyper or aggressive)
learning problems
tiredness or weakness
low appetite and energy
weight loss
sleep problems

About one in 20 preschoolers have high levels of lead in their blood.

How is lead exposure measured?

Kids are screened for lead by having their blood tested.  Blood levels are measured in micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) 10 µg/dL or higher is considered “lead poisoning.”

What about lower levels of lead?
Recent studies show that even low levels of lead are harmful and are associated with lower IQ [1, 2, 3], impaired growth and development, and impaired hearing [4]. Experts cannot yet say that there is a level at which there is no risk. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has not changed the blood lead level of concern downward from 10 µg/dL (ten micrograms per deciliter) for a number of reasons. However, not all experts agree with the CDC’s position.  

Especially if your child is aged six months to three years, talk to your pediatrician about lead and whether your child might be at risk.”  (accents are mine – tvb)

A deciliter is less than half a cup. (0.422675281986 cup to be precise).  It appears to me there should be less than 0.00000035 ounce of lead in that deciliter of blood.  That’s 35 billionths of an ounce.  A very small margin for error.

The link to this site is here:


About Lead In Solder 

It’s illegal in potable water systems.  You can look it up here:


A couple of high points.
The title of the paper is 42 U.S. Code § 300g–6 - Prohibition on use of lead pipes, solder, and flux

“(d) Definition of lead free
In general For the purposes of this section, the term “lead free” means—
(A) not containing more than 0.2 percent lead when used with respect to solder and flux; and
(B) not more than a weighted average of 0.25 percent lead when used with respect to the wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures."

Do your own google if you don't believe mine.

Oh, and by the way, if those nano-signals between your muscles are already slightly skewed by the constant bombardment of microwaves on your body from your cell phone, the towers all around, and whatnot, maybe your winky isn’t the only think you should be worried about.  (See, Richard?  I have been paying attention.
Ask the Magic 8 Ball?
So, here’s a hypothetical situation.  Let’s say you’re a City Council person in a city of 6000 people, at least some of whom are your friends.  Maybe even a few of them are your relatives. Maybe even some of them are your children.  Now, let’s say you learn about a possible exposure to a toxin in your town.  Do you get mad at the person who reveals the possible exposure to toxins, or do you say “thanks for bringing this to my attention.  I’ll look into it and get back to you as soon as I can.”  Do you ignore the situation, in hopes it will blow over?  Do you attack anyone even remotely connected to the person who delivered the information because you dislike the fact that they wore sunglasses to a Council meeting?

The fact that Leadgate connects to the Mini Met is beside the point.  The issue would be the same if it connected to
other City property.  The core issue is, did we give our residents enough timely information so that they could make choices regarding their exposure to a known toxin.
Sometimes people
to subject themselves to harmful circumstances.  For example, some women choose to wear shoes with exaggerated heels.This flies in the face of substantial medical evidence that exaggerated heels cause harm to women’s feet, ankles, knees and back.  A simple google turned up three categories of information.  Harmful effects, ways to mitigate harmful effects, and one lone article about possible beneficial effects.

Let’s start with the article about possible beneficial effects, because it’s actually kind of funny.  It was written by Jesse Bering who is Associate Professor of Science Communication at the University of Otago in New Zealand.  He cites research published by others that shows women wearing high heels are more sexually attractive, and thus more likely to (ahem) add their genes to the gene pool.  Not sure how that helps cross-dressers though. 

Hey, this is serious research we’re talking about here.

The Link is here:

The links about mitigating the harmful effects of wearing exaggerated heels are provided mainly by companies hoping to sell women sole pads, bunion relievers, and such.  Since they rely on women to choose shoes with exaggerated heels, I will not post their links.  I don’t feel comfortable with passing on information about sites or products that promote harmful behavior.

Now, about the negative effects of shoes with exaggerated heels . . . I imagine your doctor will tell you they are harmful, especially if worn to excess.  (I don’t know this from personal experience, since I don’t wear them, and thus have never had reason to ask.)  That’s the same thing he or she will tell you about Jack Daniels, or chocolate milk.

Here’s a link I found at the library of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). And here’s an excerpt:

“INTERPRETATION: The altered forces at the knee caused by walking in high heels may predispose to degenerative changes in the joint.”

This information was originally reported in The Lancet, in 1998.

And here’s a link to an article quoting a couple of doctors, their research on exaggerated heels:


CBS News is a far more credible source than JUG, right?

Oddly, much of the research and reportage turned up in my google was from Australia.  You’d think high heels wouldn’t be much of an issue there, since Aussies are upside-down, and gravity would pushing them up, instead of pulling them down.

I also found a link to an article by a doctor in Hollywood - Dr. Natalie A. Nevins, DO, MSHPE.  Among the interesting points in here article, Dr. Nevins says "Your feet are, quite literally, your base of support. If your feet aren’t happy, nothing above them will be,"  By the way, DO stands for Doctor of Osteopathy.  MSHPE stands for Master of Science in Health Professions.

Here's the link:


Dr. Nevins has her own web site.  She looks a little like Deanna Troi with red hair, and is the only doctor I’ve ever known to state her hourly rate – a steal at $150.00 per hour.  To the best of my knowledge, she is unrelated to any current or former residents of Jordan.

I hope and pray that appropriate tests will show there are no dangerous levels of lead anywhere in the Mini Met.  I wonder if out Acting City Administrator is actually qualified to gather samples for those tests.  Regardless, in the best tradition of how we operate, this whole business has been a mess from the git-go. 

The Quotes:

to hear from the people.  I want to hear what the people have to say.” 

“Is there some way we can have staff screen our e-mails?”
          Council Member Tanya Velishek, in 2011, as the Council discussed
          whether to allow a second Public Comment period

City Council Meeting, August 4th, 6:30 PM, at Jordan City Hall.

Videos are now on the Video page.  _____________________________________________________________________________

I welcome public comment on this topic. Anyone willing to give his or her name, and willing to limit his or her response to about 150 words is welcome to respond here.
Thom.Boncher@JordanUnderGround.com   No anonymous responses will be posted.  No obscene language will be permitted.  Threats, personal attacks, and spam will not be posted.  My house, my rules.  But if you have something to say, and if you are willing to put your name on it, I won’t refuse to let you be heard.