Lead Poisoning


What is lead poisoning?

Lead is a very strong poison. When a person swallows a lead object or breathes in lead dust, some of the poison can stay in the body and cause serious health problems

What age can lead most affect you?

In children, lead is most damaging when they are six years and younger. Children are growing at a very fast rate - growing bones, developing stronger muscles and creating many connections in their brain. When lead instead of essential nutrients is "available" to the body to make bones, muscle, and brain connections, permanent harm to health can occur. Even at low levels, lead can be harmful. High levels of lead are life threatening and can cause seizures, unconsciousness, and death.
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How do you know you have lead poisoning?

Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning include:

  • Fatigue, lethargy, or sometimes hyperactivity

  • Headaches

  • Weight loss

  • Insomnia

  • Constipation

  • Bluish line along the gums (Burton’s line). This is less common in children.

  • Irritability

  • Metallic taste in your mouth

  • Nausea, abdominal pain

  • Poor appetite

  • Reduced cognitive abilities

  • Reproductive problems

Although many of these symptoms could be indicative of a number of health problems, don‘t hesitate to see your doctor if you have a number of these symptoms and think you may have been exposed to unsafe levels of lead.