Common Poisons And Treatments Causes Poisoning Lead

When too much lead builds up in the body over a period of months or years, it can cause lead poisoning. Even small amounts of lead in the body can result in lead poisoning symptoms. Children under the age of six are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning, due to the effect the substance can have on mental and physical development.

Lead-based paint and dust in older buildings, particularly those built prior to 1978, commonly cause symptoms of lead poisoning in children. Other sources of lead contamination include:

  • Water: Old plumbing pipes may contain lead or lead solder, which can leak into drinking water.
  • Soil: Lead from old paint or gasoline settles on the soil and stays there for years. Soil particles can be tracked into the house and inhaled.
  • Toys: Old painted toys or imported toys may be contaminated with lead.

Lead Poisoning Symptoms

Many different symptoms are linked to lead poisoning. In severe cases, lead poisoning can be fatal. Some of the most common symptoms of lead poisoning include:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss.

Treatments for Lead Poisoning

Concurrent to any treatment, lead poisoning sources must be removed. If you can’t completely remove the cause of the lead poisoning, you can take other steps to help lower the likelihood that it will affect you or your family in a harmful way. For example, you may be able to paint over old lead paint to seal in harmful particles. Check with the National Lead Information Center for specific prevention measures.

Severe cases may call for stronger lead poisoning treatments, such as:

  • Chelation therapy: Uses medication that will bind with the lead so it is excreted in your urine.
  • EDTA therapy: Uses ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to treat patients with lead levels greater than 45 mcg/dL of blood; more than one treatment may be needed in severe cases.

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Lead poisoning prevention is the first step in protecting you and your loved ones from lead poisoning. Some ways to incorporate lead poisoning prevention into your daily life include:

  • Cleaning sponges and mop heads after cleaning dusty areas.
  • Cleaning up paint chips right away.
  • Taking off your shoes before entering the house to avoid getting soil in the house.
  • Washing stuffed animals, toys, bottles and pacifiers on a regular basis.

If you think you or a loved one has experienced lead poisoning, it’s important to speak with your doctor to assess the extent of the problem. Children are often tested at ages one and two; a simple blood test can also determine if an adult it affected. In the case of a lead poisoning emergency, always call 911.

Resources

Mayo Clinic. (2009). Lead poisoning. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lead-poisoning/fl00068.

Medline Plus. (2010). Lead poisoning. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002473.htm.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Lead poisoning: What you can do to protect your family. Retrieved May 6, 2010, from http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadinfo.htm – protect.