Some causes of lead poisoning are ingesting lead paint and eating or drinking from certain imported, improperly lead-glazed ceramics.
Very high levels of lead in the blood may cause personality changes, headaches, loss of sensation, weakness, a metallic taste in the mouth, uncoordinated walking, digestive problems, and anemia.
The diagnosis is based on symptoms and a blood test.
Testing household water, ceramics, and paint for lead can help identify potential sources of lead poisoning.
Treatment consists of stopping exposure to lead and removing accumulated lead from the body.
Lead poisoning is far less common since paint containing lead pigment was banned (in 1978 in the United States) and lead was eliminated from automotive gasoline (in 1986 in the United States and by 2011 in all but 6 countries in the developing world). However, lead poisoning is still a major public health problem in cities on the East Coast of the United States as well as in other isolated cities, most notably, Flint, Michigan.
Lead poisoning is usually caused by direct ingestion (eating) of lead. This typically happens in
Many people with mild lead poisoning have no symptoms. Symptoms that do occur usually develop over several weeks or longer. Sometimes symptoms flare up periodically.
Typical symptoms of lead poisoning include personality changes, headaches, loss of sensation, weakness, a metallic taste in the mouth, uncoordinated walking, poor appetite, vomiting, constipation, crampy abdominal pain, bone or joint pains, high blood pressure, and anemia. Kidney damage often develops without symptoms.
Young children who have been exposed to lead may become cranky and their attention span and play activity may decrease over the course of several weeks. Encephalopathy can then begin suddenly and worsen over the next several days, resulting in persistent, forceful vomiting; poor coordination and difficulty walking; confusion; sleepiness; and, finally, seizures and coma. Chronic lead poisoning in children may cause intellectual disability, seizure disorders, aggressive behavior disorders, developmental regression, chronic abdominal pain, and anemia.
Adults who are exposed to lead at work typically develop symptoms (such as personality changes, headaches, abdominal pain, and damage to nerves, with numbness and loss of sensation in the feet and legs) over several weeks or longer. Adults may develop loss of sex drive, infertility, and, in men, erectile dysfunction (impotence). Encephalopathy rarely develops in adults.
Children and adults may develop anemia. Children and adults who inhale the fumes from leaded gasoline may develop symptoms of psychosis in addition to typical symptoms of lead poisoning.
Commercially available kits should be used to test household paint (except in houses built after 1978), ceramics made outside the United States, and water supplies for lead content. Measures that reduce the risk of household poisoning include regular cleaning, such as
Washing of children’s toys and pacifiers
Cleaning of household surfaces
Dusting affected windowsills weekly with a damp cloth
Chipped leaded paint should be repaired. Larger renovation projects to remove leaded paint can release large quantities of lead into the house and should be done professionally. Commercially available faucet filters can remove most lead from drinking water.
Adults exposed to lead dust at work should
Use appropriate personal protective equipment
Change their clothing and shoes before going home
Shower before going to bed
Stopping exposure to lead
Sometimes whole-bowel irrigation
Sometimes chelation therapy and mineral supplements
Treatment consists of stopping exposure to lead and removing accumulated lead from the body. If an abdominal x-ray shows lead chips, a special solution of polyethylene glycol is given by mouth or through a stomach tube to wash the contents of the stomach and intestines (a process called whole-bowel irrigation).
Doctors remove lead from the body by giving drugs that bind with the lead (chelation therapy), allowing it to pass into the urine. All drugs that remove lead work slowly and can cause serious side effects.
Succimer is one drug used in chelation therapy. People with mild lead poisoning are given succimer by mouth. People with more serious lead poisoning are treated in the hospital with injections of chelating drugs, such as dimercaprol, succimer, and edetate calcium disodium. Because chelating drugs also can remove beneficial minerals, such as zinc, copper, and iron, from the body, the person often is given supplements of these minerals.
Even after treatment, many children with encephalopathy develop some degree of permanent brain damage. Kidney damage is also sometimes permanent.
Bridge reconstruction workers
Firing range instructors and cleaners
Remodelers and refinishers
Scrap metal recyclers
Casting bullets or fishing sinkers
Target shooting at firing ranges
Stained glass making
Glazed pottery making
- Substance Use
Some folk remedies
Some "Health Foods"
The toxic nature of lead is well documented. Lead affects all organs and functions of the body to varying degrees. The frequency and severity of symptoms among exposed individuals depends upon the amount of exposure. The list below shows many of the key lead-induced health effects.
- Neurological Effects
Fatigue / Irritability
Wrist / Foot drop
- Gastrointestinal Effects
Lead line on gingival tissue
- Reproductive Effects
Reduced sperm count & motility
- Heme Synthesis
Erythrocyte protoporphyrin elevation
- Renal Effects
Chronic nephropathy with proximal tubular damage
Maintain Good Occupational Hygiene
Occupational exposure can be reduced by modifying manufacturing processes to reduce worker contact with metal toxins, collecting and removing fumes, following proper hazardous waste management procedures, and substituting with safer materials/procedures when possible. In most countries, regulations limit employee exposure to toxins and establish worker and workplace health surveillance guidelines. Individuals can be proactive by learning about substances they are coming in contact with, limiting exposure by following safety procedures and wearing the required personal protective equipment, practicing proper skin and hand hygiene, and properly decontaminating before leaving the workplace (Coppotelli 2012).
Reduce General Exposure
Exposure to metal toxins can also be reduced by understanding the sources of metal exposure (see the section on risk factors) and adopting strategies to reduce contact with them. First, become familiar with symptoms of toxicity and first aid procedures for ingestion of substances containing toxic metals (Barsan 2008). Next, read product labels and know the potential hazards of products. Third, take advantage of established disposal programs and facilities for discarding metal-containing waste. Finally, avoid mercury amalgam dental fillings to reduce mercury exposure, especially when multiple fillings are needed. In one study, individuals with 7 or more mercury fillings had 30-50% higher urinary mercury levels compared to individuals without any amalgam fillings (Dutton 2013). Since studies have shown that exposure to mercury via dental amalgam fillings poses health risks (Geier 2013), removing and replacing existing dental fillings with mercury-free composite material should be considered. Individuals seeking to have their mercury amalgam fillings removed and replaced should seek out a dentist experienced in this procedure, as mercury vapor levels can rise in the surrounding environment if proper procedure
Water, while not a food, is vital to life. A lack of water inhibits lymph from flowing smoothly.
Cranberries emulsify fat, which helps break down excess fat so the lymphatic vessels can carry it away. Cranberry also helps the kidneys, which helps with overall hydration. Avoid cranberry juice that has any added ingredients, and try to get some fresh, whole cranberries to juice whenever possible.
Leafy greens are cleansing. Chlorophyll, the green nutrient that captures sunlight, has powerful cleansing properties and beneficial effects on the blood and thus on lymph fluid as well. Look for dark greens like kale, spinach, wheat grass, barley grass, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and mustard greens.
Garlic boosts immune function, chelates heavy metals and some other toxins, and kills harmful microbes. Anything that boosts immune function will take a load off of the lymphatic system.
Ginger reduces inflammation, and like garlic, ginger is also antimicrobial.
Turmeric is related to ginger. It also helps reduce inflammation, thins the blood, improves circulation, and is a well known and very effective cancer fighter.
Fresh produce has many different benefits for the lymphatic system and the whole body, but enzymes are critical to good health. More enzymes in the diet means more enzymes are available to the body to break down food and fibrin, which allows for easier flow of blood and lymph.
Pretty funny these 3 moroccain kids thinking they are heavy metal stars
Hadar(the coolest girl - 3.5 years old) LOVES (!!!) Heavy Metal
*I know the timing went a little out of sync but whatever... Part of a heavy metal song I wrote, played over a simple backing track I made.
Heres a pretty awesome heavy metal song I wrote. The working title is "Darker Than Pitch Black". Check it out