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.
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It would be impossible to discuss the effects, and source of, mercury poisoning on any health issue without first considering how early you can be exposed to it. I’m sure that learning this will shock most people who are not aware of just how early their exposure to mercury begins, and the surprising source of that exposure. It also opens a Pandora’s box when it comes to connecting mercury poisoning to any health issue.
The first time anyone can be exposed to mercury from amalgam fillings is at the moment of conception; if the mother has mercury amalgam fillings! Mercury entering the mother from her amalgam fillings can be passed to the fetus via the placenta, with the exposure continuing daily until birth. As mercury also passes into breast milk the exposure to it will continue through the nursing period. The amount of mercury the fetus and nursing baby will be exposed to can vary greatly and depend on a number of factors, including;
• How many fillings the mother has;
• How long she has had them;
• How the fillings were stimulated;
• How often they were stimulated and for how long;
• Did she have any removed or placed during fetal development and nursing; and
• Was the baby nursed and for how long.
The exposure to mercury at such a critical time of development is bad enough but it’s made worse by the fact that the fetus hasn’t developed a protective immune system. One should never lose sight of the fact that mercury is very toxic to an adult and far, far more so for a developing fetus and baby. It can also cause genetic changes. Mercury is classified as mutagenic substance and is also teratogenic. A mutagenic substance, any agent that causes a permanent change in genetic material, can cause genetic mutations. These mutations can lead to many birth defects and other health problems later in life.
A teratogenic substance is one that disrupts the growth and development of the embryo and fetus, leading to neurological and central nervous system disorders.
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The puffer fish is a very expensive dish to eat...but watch out, it can kill you.
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