How to Recognize Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning has no obvious symptoms and most often goes unrecognized. It can affect every system in the body. However, many behavioral disorders, seizures, and learning disabilities can be signs of lead poisoning. This article will help you to recognize symptoms of lead poisoning.

Steps

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    Look for behavioral disorders. While behavioral disorders may have many causes, some disorders are linked to lead poisoning.
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    Watch for seizures. Seizures may be caused by a variety of factors. Lead poisoning should not be excluded as a cause except by testing.
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    Be aware of any learning disabilities. There are numerous causes of learning disabilities. In cases where there has been exposure to lead, lead poisoning may be a possibility.
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    Know if your child is at risk. The following may help you to recognize risks:
    • Children under age 6 years. Children of this age tend to put their hands and other objects in their mouths. They also grow quickly at this age.
    • Children living at or below the poverty level and living in older housing are at a greater risk.
    • Children of some racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately affected. 3% of black children as compared to 1.3% white children, for example.

Tips

  • Nearly 24 million homes in the U.S. have old, leaded paint and high levels of lead-contaminated house dust. Have your home tested.
  • The following may be causes of lead poisoning:

    • Drinking water in which lead has been leached from solder, brass fixtures, lead pipes, and valves
    • Occupations in which automotive batteries are manufactured or recycled
  • Home health remedies, including the following:

    • Azarcon and Greta, which are used for stomach upset and indigestion
    • Pay-loo-ah, which is used for fever or rash
    • Hobbies, including making stained-glass windows
  • There are things you can do to help reduce blood lead levels. A few things to consider are:

    • Talk to your state or local health department about testing paint and dust from your home for lead. This is particularly important if you live in a house or apartment built before 1978.
    • Frequently wash a child’s hands, pacifiers, and toys to reduce exposure to lead.
    • Damp-mop floors and damp-wipe surfaces.
    • Use only cold water from the tap for making baby formula, drinking, and cooking. Most of the lead in household water usually comes from the plumbing in your house, not from the local water supply.
    • If you remodel buildings built before 1978 or if your work or hobbies involve working with lead-based products, shower and change your clothing after finishing the job.

Warnings

  • Untreated lead poisoning can lead to death. If you suspect you or your children may have lead poisoning, see a doctor immediately.

Article Info

Categories: Neurological Disorders