Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lead In Water | Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden
We often think of lead in the water is only a problem that happens to people with old plumbing. But, according to conservationist Phillip Elden, lead toxicity can have a staggering effect on the animal population as well as animal products. 
Phillip Elden explains that lead batteries are the number one cause of lead in the soil. However, other sources that can affect animals include lead in feed, grease, discarded asphalt, and water provided to animals via a contaminated pipe. Unfortunately, cattle and poultry are the two types of animal most at-risk of lead poisoning. However, lead poisoning can affect wildlife as well, particularly if batteries and other lead-containing materials are discarded in lakes, creeks, and rivers. 

The signs of lead poisoning are devastating, with the first indication often being dead animals. Animals that are still alive may walk aimlessly or appear unresponsive. Sometimes, tongue paralysis and muscle twitches are a sign of lead poisoning. Phillip Elden says that domestic animals should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Anyone suspecting wildlife of lead poisoning should contact their local wildlife preservation agency. 
According to Phillip Elden, there is currently no treatment for lead poisoning approved by the USDA. This means that supportive or compassionate end-of-life care are the only options for animals with an extreme case of lead poisoning. 

Phillip Elden also explains that, while some animals may recover naturally from mild to moderate lead toxicity, these animals should never be allowed to produce food for human consumption. Eggs, milk, and meat derived from lead-elevated animals should never be consumed. It can take many months for lead toxicity levels in the blood and muscle tissue to dissipate to safe levels. 
Contact your local wildlife preservation agency if you see people putting batteries or other lead items, such as pipes, into your local water supply.