Lead, Even at Low Levels, Linked to High Blood Pressure in Pregnant Women

(FairWarning.org) — Even a touch of lead might cause high blood pressure in pregnant women, which can lead to a plethora of other problems.

A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that — even at levels of lead in the bloodstream well below the danger threshold set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — pregnant woman show significant spikes in blood pressure.

The study found that women with lead levels of just 1 microgram per deciliter of blood, or one-fifth of the limit recommended by CDC for pregnant women, have significant jumps in the levels of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

This indicates that pregnant women may have an increased susceptibility to lead poisoning, as is the case with young children.

“We didn’t expect to see effects at such low levels of lead exposure, but in fact we found a strong effect,” Dr. Lynn Goldman, a researcher on the study and the dean of George Washington University’s school of public health, said in a news release.

Goldman suggested reducing workplace exposure to lead as an initial response to the findings.


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