Lead Exposure Affects Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Even a tiny quantity of lead can take a toll on pregnant women, according to a new study. Even if the level of lead in a pregnant woman's blood remains far below current safety standards, it can raise her blood pressure significantly.

Blood pressure is normally slightly higher during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. But prolonged high blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to complications such as preeclampsia and eclampsia, a potentially lethal condition.

According to Science Daily:

"The CDC advises ... action to reduce exposures when pregnant women or children have a blood lead level of 5 micrograms (ug) per deciliter (dL) or higher. However ... the recent study suggests that there are cardiovascular effects of lead in pregnant women at levels well below 5 ug/dL."

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