What is Lead Poisoning? Lead poisoning is a condition also known as plumbism or saturnism. Lead poisoning can take place due to elevated lead level in the body and results in severe damages of organs. In children it can affect growth.
In small quantities it is very harmful whilst in high quantities it leads to fatal outcome.
Usual sources of poisoning with lead include air, water, dust, soil and sometimes toys and make up polluted with lead. This poisoning can also occur due to paints which main ingredient is lead.
You can’t avoid being in lead polluted environment but you can stay away from certain products containing this heavy metal.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Increased level of lead in blood at first doesn’t cause any symptoms. After period of several months or years, when lead builds up in the body first symptoms can be experienced.
Firstly, lead poisoning reflects in red blood cell, hemoglobin. Afterwards, it affects nervous system.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in pregnancyWhen mother is poisoned with lead, her fetus can suffer from impaired physical and mental development. Sometimes, this can be present for many years.
Symptoms of lead poisoning in children
The signs and symptoms involve appetite and weight loss, irritability, fatigue, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, and pale skin.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Adults
The symptoms of too much lead in blood in adults include weakness in muscles, pain and numbness in arms and legs, headache, impaired memory, abdominal pain, fatigue, mood changes, lower sperm count in men and miscarriage and preterm birth in women.
When adults are affected with low amount of lead, at first symptoms might not be present but later on this can cause increased blood pressure and mental decay.
Causes of Lead Poisoning
Lead is the heavy metal that is normally found in earth’s crust. It became more extensive due to people influence such as industrial production, mining and burning fossil fuels.
Lead can also be found in paints, batteries, pipes, pottery, gasoline and in material used for making roofs.
Lead poisoning can occur due to:Contaminated soil – When paints or gasoline containing lead enter soil, contamination can last for long. This problem often exists in urban areas or near highways.Contaminated water – Traces of lead can be found in water because of lead pipes that discharge lead particles into tap water.Lead paint – Paints with the main ingredient lead, used for toys, furniture and homes are prohibited in US since 1978. In older buildings, lead-based paint can still be found on the walls and can cause poisoning in children if they consume this paint. Lead in plates and cups can enter food thereby causing poisoning.Contaminated dust – dust can be polluted because of lead paints or contaminated soil.Canned food, toys and other products – This refers to products made abroad were lead isn’t banned in production of these items.Traditional make up and medicines – In India and South Asia there are traditional remedies containing lead. Kohl, traditional eyeliner contains plenty of lead. Litargirio, powder from Dominican Republic is also very dangerous since it contains high level of lead.