Imagine my surprise when I unpacked my brand new summer cooler and found the following label warning me about toxic lead on the power cord! This cooler was purchased new in June 2010
“Warning: The power cord on this product contains lead, a chemical known in the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reporductive harm. Wash hands after handling.” Wash hands after handling? Will that really remove toxic lead? Is that realistic to wash your hands ever single time I touch the cord?
Here is one nasty scenario: you get to your camp site, unplug your cooler, and prepare a meal for your family. The poisonous lead on your hands gets transferred onto the food you prepare. Now you are actually EATING LEAD! Young familys are typical campers. Are they about to have kids? This is a very bad (and typical) scenario.
This cooler was purchased brand new from a local sporting goods store, it is a VERY popular model. A picture of the actual box this cooler came in is below. No toxic lead warning on the outside of this box. Any chance such a toxic lead warning would hurt the sale of this cooler?
This type of cooler plugs into the 12 volt (commonly called “cigarette lighter”) socket in your car. It also comes with an adapter to allow you to use it in your home (regular household plug). I am quite happy with the cooler itself, it is a great product, well, other than having a health threatening power cord.
And here is the actual cooler itself that contains toxic lead in the power cord.
The label says only the cord contains the heavy metal lead, known to be toxic. However it is basically impossible to use this cooler without handling the power cord. Surely they could have made a cord that does not contain lead. If not, could this possibly mean that other (all!) power cords like this one contain lead?
What is the point of this post? The point is that we are constantly bombarded with toxins! They are impossible to avoid. Lead has been know for many many years to be extremely harmful yet it is still widely used in consumer products.
The ‘Bathtub’ or ‘Barrel’ Theory comes into play here. Most people are able to tolerate a certain amout of lead and other toxins like mercury. However, more and more lead builds up in your body until you get to a point where your tub/barrel ‘overflows. ‘Overflows’ means the amount of toxin in your body becomes more than your body can deal with and the person becomes sick. It is at this point that DMSA is needed to reduce the level of lead (or other toxin) in the body. This is known as ‘reducing the body burden’. Once the body burden is reduced to a level that the body can deal with, the symptoms of the excessive toxin levels disappear. You can also take DMSA as a preventative measure. That is what I do. I do not have any symptoms of any heavy metal toxicity and I do not want any! Therefore, I regularly do a DMSA detox every few months to ensure my tub never overflows.