Heavy Metal Poisoning From Drinking Glasses


Oh, I know most people want to believe, the same way I do, that our federal regulatory agencies are doing their job. The only thing I can say in their defense is that their job is pretty much impossible.

Look, I mean who is going to send someone to check on every blessed piece of glassware? I once actually treated a case of cadmium poisoning in a young man who had been a ceramic artist.  Told him to get some intravenous chelation. Although this remains a controversial procedure for some things – like arteriosclerosis — nobody debates that it is the fastest and best way, when adequately monitored, to get heavy metals, like mercury and cadmium and such, out of your body.  A simple, gentle IV.  It’s mainstream medical practice and its been around for many years.

He didn’t much like the idea of needles puncturing his skin.  Alternative medicine embraces multiple oral protocols that seem to work just fine, so I referred him to another doctor who offered such things.

The truth of the matter is that while there may be some differences of opinion on how you get the heavy metals out of your body, everyone seems to agree this stuff is not good for you. Lead poisoning — well, I saw some cases in France, as I recall. Weakness, fatigue, constipation and headache are pretty non-specific symptoms to put it mildly. There is also pre 1958 lead based paint. Grownups can get these things, but little kids with a still developing central nervous system are all the more vulnerable. Treatment is mostly getting the lead out, one way or another. So on those cute colored images of cartoon characters on those glasses you either buy cheaply at the supermarket or get as a premium at gas station or whoever knows?  Well, they say they are meant for adult collectors but I can’t quite buy it.

My husband brought up the question of Flintstone glasses. His family apparently collected them when he was young.  They were on the market as containers for Welch’s jelly and when empty were used as drinking glasses.  I guess other kids got these.  I mean, I swear I do not remember them, so maybe I thought them puerile even then.

Some say they used cadmium to replace lead on the pictures.  No matter which, it is easy for the little hands to bring poisons of the central nervous system into the little mouths. I don’t know if we can account for all of the craziness of the 60’s this way.  I can tell you that even with wildly effective supplements, it is a lot easier to get the lead or cadmium into the child than it is to get it out. Check the link above from the Sun-Sentinel if you need to call someone with questions and concerns about suspected heavy-metal poisoning.

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