Lead poisoning (also referred to as plumbism or saturnism) isa serious health issue, which is caused by increased levels of led found in thehuman body. Lead can affect many organs and systems in the body, causingproblems in functioning of the brain, kidneys, intestines, reproductive organsand even bone marrow.
There is no amount of led recommended as safe and any quantityof this heavy element may cause damage to your body. Although everyone couldsuffer from lead poisoning, children are especially sensitive to this condition.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Lower levels of leadfound in the body may cause behavior and learning problems and attentionissues, and sometimes these changes may become permanent condition. High levelsof lead are even more dangerous, leading to vomiting, headaches, abdominalpain, loss of hair and anemia. It can also be responsible for the mentalconfusion, seizures and even coma and death.
How are Children Exposed
Lead can be found as the natural element in nature and assuch it has been used for centuries to make some of everyday used objects. The mostcommon way children come in touch with lead is the wall paint in old apartmentsand houses. Even though lead based paint was strictly forbidden to use since1978, some old houses still have residues of this paint on the walls. This conditionis especially common in the cities and among people with very low incomes.
Children are always exploring their environment and eatingeverything that comes to their hands. That’s how lead paint (chips of the leadpaint) come into children’s system and can cause medical problems. Your housemight be lead free, but if you happen to bring the outside dirt to the houseand it contains lead, your child might be also affected by lead poisoning. Otherways children might be exposed to lead include some foreign made juice or foodcans.
You can always consult your local health department aboutthe potential lead dangers in your home. They could help you by inspecting yourhome for lead paint, lead water pipes or some other household items containinglead. Always make sure to protect your children from lead poisoning, by sealingoff the wall paint that is peeling off. When you are Renovating the house,cover the walls with heavy plastics to avoid the lead dust and chips in yourchild’s mouth. If you live in an old building and your neighbors are Renovatingtheir place, wipe your shoes and take them off in your apartment, to protectyour kids.
As prevention, always wash hands and mouth of your childbefore the meals.
Lead Poisoning Treatment
If you are (for some reason) concerned about the level oflead in your children’s blood, consult your doctor. He/she will do some bloodtesting and determine the level of lead in your child and if necessary adviseyou how to lower your child’s lead level.
Even thought there are about 4% of children in the USsuffering from lead poisoning, only some need to be treated for it. The treatmentincludes removal of the child from the lead poisoning source and chelationtherapy. If a child is suffering from seizures the doctor might prescribe someanti-convulsants medications.