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iron poisoning

updated thu 7 nov 02


June Perry on tue 5 nov 02

I don't know about poisoning but I have read in the past that excess iron in
the body has been associated with heart attacks.

June Perry

G.M. Schauer on wed 6 nov 02

I am new to the list, an obsessed 'hobby potter' but my day job is
I agree the bad water smell is not the iron but sulphur-containing or other
compounds, or bacteria. It is virutally impossible for a normal person to
get an iron overdose from drinking or smelling the water. The body has a
mechanism to restrict intestinal absorption of iron beyond that needed for
muscle and red blood cell production etc, although combining acidic foods or
drink (ie. orange juice) with an iron rich meal will increase intestinal
uptake of iron. Getting a blood transfusion is a direct input of iron to
the body, not the same at all as dietary iron intake.

One caveat to all this is that one of the most common inherited diseases in
caucasian people of european descent is 'hereditary hemochromatosis' in
which the body does not handle iron normally, and it can build up in organs
and cause damage. If you are a middle aged or older adult, a blood test can
tell you if are at risk (affected people will demonstrate an abnormality of
the iron-carrying protein over time, before organs damage occurs). Then you
need to get the genetic test for this disease, and restrict iron intake and
perhaps have other treatments if you are found to have the mutations.
Galen Schauer
Plymouth, Minnesota