How can you minimize or prevent exposure to toxic lead?
- If lead contamination in the home is discovered the best option is to consider moving to a safer environment.
Lowest Exposure Signs and Symptoms: -Impaired Abilities (child may appear asymptomatic)
- Decreased learning and memory
- Lowered IQ
- Decreased verbal ability
- Impaired speech and hearing functions
- Early signs of hyperactivity or ADHD
Low Exposure Signs and Symptoms
- Myalgia or paresthesia -an abnormal sensation, typically tingling or pricking (“pins and needles”), caused chiefly by pressure on or damage to peripheral nerves.
- Mild fatigue
- Lethargy -a lack of energy and enthusiasm
- Occasional abdominal discomfort
Moderate Exposure Signs and Symptoms
- Arthralgia -joint pain.
- General fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- abdominal pains
- Weight loss
High Exposure Dose Signs and Symptoms
- Encephalopathy—which could lead to seizures, changes in consciousness, coma, and death
- blueish-black Lead lines on gum tissue
- Colic (occasional severe abdominal cramps)
THE EFFECTS OF LEAD￼
Lead has significant effects on the adult body in many forms such as
poor attention span, muscular tremors, and loss of memory may occur.
Less severe neurological and behavioral effects have been documented in lead-exposed workers. These effects include
- decreased libido
- depression/mood changes, headache
- diminished cognitive performance
- diminished hand dexterity
- diminished reaction time
- diminished visual motor performance
- impaired concentration
- increased nervousness
- paresthesia - an abnormal sensation, typically tingling or pricking (“pins and needles”)
- reduced IQ scores
- weakness There is also some evidence that lead exposure may affect adults’ postural balance and peripheral nerve function.
- Continued or repetitive exposures can cause a toxic stress on the kidney, if unrelieved, may develop into irreversible kidney failure
. In one study, more than 50% of patients suffering from lead kidney damage also suffered from gout.
. Lead exposure may also contribute to the onset and development of hypertension.
. Most lead-associated kidney disease are a result of ongoing chronic or present high acute exposure or can be a latent effect of chronic past lead exposure.
. -Lead interferes with a hormonal form of vitamin D, which affects
. multiple processes in the body, including cell maturation and skeletal
. growth.-Lead exposure may lead to increased risk for hypertension as well as the after affects of it.
. -Maternal blood lead, can cross the placenta and put the fetus at risk.
. -Pregnant women with elevated levels of lead in the blood may have an increased chance of:
- preterm labor
- miscarriage or stillbirth
- low birth weigh
. - For men - recent reproductive studies suggest that current occupational exposures decrease sperm count and increase abnormal sperm function.
. Pregnant women with elevated BLLs may have an increased chance of
- preterm labor
- spontaneous abortion or stillbirth
- low birth weigh - Children who reside in pre-1978 housing facilities (and especially those in inner cities or those built before 1950) are at greatest risk for exposure, because the houses may contain lead-based paint.
-the developing fetus is also at risk for adverse health effects and while children’s lead levels have steadily declined in recent decades, some populations of children are still at significant risk of lead poisoning.
Available information on toll-free telephone numbers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Info at 1(888) 422- 8737.
The National Lead Information Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).
CDC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lead Awareness Program
ATSDR Information Center Contact Information
Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs)
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
American College of Medical Toxicologists
American College of Preventive Medicine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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