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Lead is highly poisonous, affecting the delicate nerve cells that regulate the whole running of every higher life form. There is no safe limit for lead consumption.
Lead isotopes have the same chemical properties but different atomic weights. It is possible to determine the origin of the lead by determining the ratio of lead isotopes in a sample. In this manner, the current study traced the lead found in the blood to the lead chromate used to spike the turmeric samples. This is the first study to make a direct connection between the two.
In a detailed study involving just Bangladesh alone, the researchers found that lead in curcumin supplies reached over 1000 μg/g in the two districts with highest contamination rates. And these was the districts that were supplying to many supplement companies in the US, Australia. and Britain. The samples of soil and pigment from the polishing mills where the actual addition is done showed over 4000 μg/g of lead, and 2% to 10% of lead by weight, respectively.
Lead exposes both adults and children to disease of the heart and brain, and impairs neurodevelopment in children.
Nine out of ten children with high lead levels in the blood live in low-income countries, and almost a trillion dollars’ worth of productivity is lost every year due to lead-induced neurologic damage.
The potent neurotoxicity of lead means that even traces of lead in any substance conceivably used as food or coming into contact with the digestive system are unacceptable.
As of press time, Thailand Medical News was not able to get any comments from various manufacturers of supplemenst in the US and Australia.
Consumers are warned to check on their sources of curcumin supplies and those really needing to consume curcumin whether as a flavoring or for health benefits, to instead use fresh and organic grown curcumin instead of the dried powders or supplements.
Turmeric means “yellow” in Bengali: Lead chromate pigments added to turmeric threaten public health across Bangladesh. Jenna E.Forsyth, Syeda Nurunnahar, Sheikh Shariful Islam, Musa Baker, Dalia Yeasmin, M. Saiful Islam, Mahbubur Rahman, Scott Fendorf, Nicole M. Ardoin, Peter J. Winch, & Stephen P. Luby. Environmental Research, Volume 179, Part A, December 2019, 108722. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108722. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935119305195