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14 November 2010 @ 10:28 pm
The Circulatory System, Lead, and Chris Farley  
This entry will attempt to explain how lead poisoning works, but first, an introduction to the circulatory system from the vlogbrothers!

Ingested lead can mean serious problems, especially for young children. First, it tricks the person eating or inhaling it by giving off an apparently sweet taste. Lead doesn't stop it's tricky ways at this point though, once in the body it tricks important areas such as the circulatory system to think it's iron and the nervous system to think it's calcium (all three elements have a 2+ charge). In the circulatory system, it will push iron out of the possibility of attachment to make the heme in hemoglobin. This wouldn't be so bad if lead wasn't so painfully inept at oxygen binding. Consequences of this would be Anemia. As for Calcium, it too is pushed out of its normal role of making voltage gated channels work - like the ones in the heart and neurons for example. Once again when it pushes the functioning ion out of the way, Lead does nothing to make the original function happen. However, the serious change to the delicate balance of the nervous system often means serious brain damage, particularly for children because it forever changes the abilities of the voltage gated channels.


15 year old black humor about outdated paint contents - explained!

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