Jul 25, 2023
Lead poisoning frequently results from lead accumulation in the body over the course of months or years. Even in little concentrations, lead can be quite dangerous to health. Children under the age of six who are lead-poisoned may experience major delays in their physical and mental growth. At incredibly high concentrations, lead poisoning can be fatal.
Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are common causes of lead poisoning in children. Additional sources include polluted air, water, and soil. Adults who work in auto repair shops, renovate their homes, or handle batteries may also be exposed to lead.
Lead poisoning can be treated, but there are some simple precautions you can take to protect your family from lead exposure before it becomes a problem.
Lead poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms. Numerous body parts could be impacted. Lead poisoning typically develops gradually, It comes after numerous small-lead exposures. After a single exposure to or consumption of lead, lead poisoning is uncommon.
Symptoms of repeated lead exposure include:
Lead exposure can cause intellectual impairment in children since their brains are still developing. Symptoms could include:
There may be emergency symptoms from a high, toxic dose of lead poisoning. A few of these include:
Lead is a naturally occurring metal present in the crust of the earth but various human activities such as mining and burning fossil fuels and minerals have made its existence more common. Batteries, solder, pipes, pottery, roofing materials, and some cosmetics still contain lead, which was also previously used in paint and petrol.
Since 1978, lead-based paints have been prohibited in American homes, children's products, and furniture. But in many older houses and apartments, lead-based paint is still present on the walls and woodwork. Eating chips of decaying lead-based paint is the main cause of lead poisoning in children.
Lead can leach into drinking water through lead plumbing fittings, copper pipes soldered with lead, and lead pipes.
Even though it is forbidden in the US, other nations still use lead solder in food cans.
Lead can also occasionally be found in:
Your risk of lead poisoning may be increased by the following factors:
Lead poisoning can be avoided with a few easy precautions. These consist of:
Lead exposure, especially in children, can have long-term negative effects even at low levels. Brain development is especially at risk since there is a possibility of irreversible damage. Both children's and adults' neurological systems and kidneys can be harmed by higher doses. Seizures, unconsciousness, and death can result from extremely high lead concentrations.
During routine checkups, your child's healthcare practitioner can suggest that lead levels be measured. This testing often occurs between the ages of 1 and 2. For older kids who haven't had their lead levels checked, lead screening may also be advised.
Lead poisoning can be identified with a quick blood test. From a finger prick or vein, a little amount of blood is drawn. Micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) is the unit used to test lead levels in the blood.
Lead blood levels are never safe. On the other hand, a level of 5 mcg/dL is utilized to denote a potentially dangerous level for youngsters. Children whose blood tests come back at those levels should undergo regular testing. When a child's levels reach an abnormally high level, often 45 mcg/dL or above,
Eliminating the contaminant's source is the first step in treating lead poisoning. If lead cannot be eliminated from the environment, it may be possible to lessen the likelihood that it may cause issues.
For instance, there are occasions when sealing something in is preferable to removing old lead paint. How to find and lessen lead in your home and neighborhood might be advised by your local health department.
Simply avoiding lead exposure may be sufficient to lower blood lead levels in kids and people with relatively low lead levels.
If the situation is serious, your doctor might advise:
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