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Lead Poisoning Symptoms

Where Does Lead Poisoning Occur?

Contrary to popular belief, lead poisoning doesn’t just occur in run down urban areas, nor is it a thing of the past. It can occur even in the most upscale neighborhoods, and among all economic groups. The symptoms of lead poisoning can be devastating.

What is Lead Poisoning?

Lead poisoning is a very serious condition that can produce irreversible damage in adults, children, and even pets. It’s important that you find out its causes and symptoms so you can take the appropriate steps to prevent or mitigate the terrible effects of lead poisoning. It’s even more prevalent now, since older lead paint and plumbing infrastructure is breaking down.

It doesn’t take much – a speck of lead dust as small as a grain of sand can lead to unsafe lead poisoning levels.

Lead Poisoning Symptoms and Effects

People who appear healthy may have elevated blood lead levels, which can lead to big problems. Lead poisoning can cause serious, irreversible damage, including: brain damage, ADD and ADHD, aggressive behavior and tendencies for violence, damage to the nervous system, impaired growth, and in extreme cases, coma or even death. (For specifics, click here.)

How to Prevent Lead Poisoning

1.  Test your home. You should have a lead inspection performed by a certified, licensed testing company if your home was built before 1978. This is especially important if you are going to perform any renovation or remediation. Better to be safe than sorry.

2.  Test your family. Lead poisoning can be diagnosed with a simple blood lead test. Depending on the state in which you live, some pediatricians will conduct a lead screening for children under the age of three. But most of the time, the test is left at the discretion of the pediatrician. If you have any concerns, discuss testing for lead poisoning with your physician.

How to Spot the Signs of Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning symptoms in children include:

  • Irritability
  • Learning difficulties
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Sluggishness and fatigue
  • Seizures

Symptoms of lead poisoning in adults include:

  • Pain, numbness and/or tingling of the extremities
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Memory loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Decline in mental acuity
  • Reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm
  • Mood disorders

Lead poisoning is especially devastating for pregnant women and their unborn children. It can cause:

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Brain damage
  • Decreased mental acuity
  • Learning difficulties
  • Stunted growth

Even pets are not immune. Symptoms of lead poisoning in pets can include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation then diarrhea
  • Chomping of jaws
  • Blindness
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Behavioral changes
  • Obsessive circling

If the source of the lead is not determined and removed, the poisoning will continue. Before you risk exposing your family to lead, find out if a hazard exists. Hire a professional lead-testing service because home test kits are not always accurate, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Call us at 800.392.6468 to schedule a lead inspection.

Water should be tested once each year for total coliform bacteria. (CDC)

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