Lead poisoning should be a thing of the past, but recently there have been hundreds of children’s toys recalled for their high lead content. Most of these toys are made in China. In the past, lead paint was the most common source of lead poisoning in children. Although children are at the greatest risk, adults can suffer from lead poisoning as well.
If you or your child experience any of the symptoms of lead poisoning listed below, pleas talk to your doctor right away. Lead poisoning can damage systems in the body including the neurological system and gastrointestinal system. It can cause learning disabilities and developmental problems, and can be fatal in children and adults.
Lead Poisoning Symptoms
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Children: High levels of lead can have symptoms that are easily overlooked at first. Symptoms of lead poisoning in children can include irritability, loss of appetite and weight loss, fatigue or lethargy, paleness caused by anemia, abdominal pain, constipation, and vomiting.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Adults: Adults can suffer serious harm from lead poisoning as well. Symptoms of lead poisoning in adults include severe abdominal pain, muscle weakness, memory problems, mood swings, fatigue, pain, numbness, or tingling in the extremities, muscle pain, joint pain, and difficulty concentrating.
Lead Poisoning Long Term Effects
Long Term Effects of Lead Poisoning in Children: Children who suffer from lead poisoning can experience long term or permanent health problems including hearing damage, learning disabilities, reduced muscle growth, reduced bone growth, damage to internal organs, language and speech problems, seizures, behavioral problems, poor muscle coordination, anemia, and neurological damage.
Long Term Effects of Lead Poisoning in Adults: High levels of lead ca cause serious problems in adults including kidney damage, damage to the reproductive organs, high blood pressure, nerve disorders, damage to the digestive system, and complications with pregnancy.
Causes of Lead Poisoning
Children’s Toys: One of the most common sources of lead exposure today is contaminated children’s toys. These toys are usually decorated with lead based paint, and most are coming from China.
Paint in older homes: Older homes that were painted with lead-based paint are another source. As the paint chips and peels it creates dust and chips containing lead that children may put in their mouths or get on their hands and then ingest.
Remodeling: Also an issue in older homes, adults may be exposed to lead dust during remodeling.
Contaminated Soil: Dirt can be contaminated with lead that it has soaked up from other sources such as leaded gasoline.
Lead Pipes: Drinking water can be contaminated with lead in homes and building that have lead water pipes.
Food and Drink Containers: Some drink ware and food containers contain lead in their materials. Lead crystal, and pottery made with lead-based glaze can leach lead into food and beverages.
Children Are at the Highest Risk
Children are at the greatest risk from lead poisoning because of the effects it can have on their development, their size, and the simple fact that they are more likely to be exposed. Since they are constantly putting objects and their fingers in their mouths, they are more likely to ingest lead when it is in their environment either due to pain chips and dust or from contaminated toys.