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Lead Poisoning: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Lead Poisoning

What Is Lead Poisoning

Lead is the metal which is found in the crust of the earth layer. Moreover, it can be anywhere in the environment naturally. However, it is present in some human-made items. With time, this usage is increasing. Pipes and pants in earlier time use lead. People used to eat in the lead made utensils. Mining activities produce lead too. People who work in older buildings, repairing shops or renovation for home are also open to the threat of lead poisoning. Here you’ll read about Lead Poisoning.

Lead is dangerous in several ways. It can harm the production of blood cells affecting nerves. The lead can affect the brain function or movement of muscles. Long term exposure to lead is dangerous or even life-threatening. This is also known as lead poisoning. People of every age are victims of lead poisoning; however, young children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning.


Symptoms Of Lead Intoxication

Signs of lead intoxication vary. Moreover, in some cases, they are not visible at the early stages. We can genuinely call lead intoxication a slow poisoning. It is detected mostly when a high amount of lead is found in the body. However, following is the list of few common symptoms of lead poisoning.

  • Vomiting
  • Development delay
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Hearing loss
  • Eating unusual food
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Learning disabilities

 In adults, symptoms can be different like it can be 

  • Mood disorder
  • Headache
  • Difficulties in thinking and responding
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle pain


Moreover, babies before their birth may possess lead poisoning that will tend to continue even after their birth and development. These infants are born with a premature level, having lower body weight than normal. Later, this disorder will reduce their growth, resulting in slow physical and mental development.

Causes Of Lead Poisoning

There are several causes of this kind of poisoning. More prolonged exposure to the lead generation process may cause lead intoxication. Moreover, in previous years, paints contain lead. Furthermore, Recycling activities leads to intoxication.

  • Burning Fossil fuels
  • Mining
  • Dust
  • Paints
  • Canned goods
  • Gasoline
  • Wined pipes
  • Mexican Candy
  • Pottery
  • Cosmetics
  • Ceiling material
  • Batteries
  • Soil
  • Lead bullets

Inhaling in an environment, which has excessive lead, causes lead poisoning. Even the products, used by the artists to make art goods, may contain lead which is dangerous for use.  Lead reduces the ability of bones to absorb calcium. So it won`t let bones absorb calcium.

Moreover, using something, which contains lead, is toxic. Dust and water are the common causes of coming in contact with this lead poison. There are food containers like lead-glazed, which are treated to eyes but are harmful to eat in.

Here the question arises that why do people use lead while knowing its harmful effects.

Water and oxygen can not easily harm the lead-coated surface. It is easily moldable and shapable. It is the best protection against radiations.

As it is mentioned earlier that lead is not affected by water. So in our body, it won`t let water stay effecting indirectly red blood cell. Anemia is the result then.

Read our more detailed article: Blood Poisoning: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Treatments Of Lead Poisoning

The first thing is to give your kids and yourself a lead-free diet and environment. Secondly, if one is diagnosed with this, then identify the source. Remove the source of contamination. Very high level of lead is found in children. So attempts are made to reduce them. Chelation therapy is helpful in this.

Unfortunately, if someone has eaten life-threatening lead amount in one go has to treat it. For this purpose, two main treatments are there.

  •  Gastric Lavage:  This involves emptying and washing the stomach with tube or saline irrigation.
  •  Bowel Irrigation:  In this, a solution is inserted into the bowel via the rectum. Water stimulates all the material to flush out of the body.


Lead Poisoning And Kids

Lead Poisoning And Kids
Lead Poisoning And Kids

Young children absorb lead more quickly than elders. Moreover, their brain is in the stage of growth. So regular exposure will affect their development. Furthermore, they are innocent so that they can put anything in the mouth quickly. Parents should give toys to children easily. As some toys may have stained glasses or paint, which is harmful.


Lead Poisoning Statistic

This kind of poisoning should not be ignored. We all should protect yourself from its adverse effects. Further, we should provide safe environments to our children. To know the destruction of lead poisoning, have a look at the following figures.

Lead Poisoning Danger
Lead Poisoning Danger
  • About 1.2 million children in the USA have lead poisoning. No level of lead is safe for children. Even 2 milligram per deciliter of blood can lower the IQ of children. Stilling 70% of children are not tested and left untreated.
  • Over 400,000 people face death as a result of lead poisoning.
  • The lead level 45 µg/dL or below is normal in children but should be cautioned.
  • In adults, this level can be 40 µg/dL. Above 80 µg/dL is deadly dangerous.


Lead Poisoning Test

First, we have to understand who should get his blood test? Only the person to whom the doctor has recommended or who worked in mining or any exposure to lead for long. As everyone`s blood test will show some amount of lead in blood. In adults, zinc protoporphyrin test is also done. The doctor recommends parents of one-year-old to have a lead test and repeat after every year. Moreover, doctors want a blood test for the lead when there is some family history of lead poisoning. People leave in old houses, i.e. built before 1970 are at risk of lead poisoning.



We always recommend prevention because it is better than a cure. Prevent yourself and your child from exposing to lead. In any case, if it is unavoidable, then minimize the time frame.

A healthy diet and a clean environment are the sources to avoid this threatening disorder. Increase calcium intake more than usual. Get yourself and child checked. Be careful when giving a toy to a child. Read its label.


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