Lead Poisoning - Causes And Prevention
Lead poisoning, also referred to as plumbing or saturnism, is a type of metallic poisoning caused by lead in the body. Lead is a naturally occurring element that has been used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications for thousands of years. In the past, it was commonly used in paint, gasoline, and water pipes. However, the dangers of lead exposure were fully understood in the 20th century. Despite its usefulness, we need to remember that lead is a poison! It becomes dangerous when it enters any form the human body can absorb. Lead poisoning is a serious public health concern that affects both children and adults. It occurs when lead, a toxic heavy metal, accumulates in the body, causing damage to the brain and other vital organs. Lead can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact, and even low levels of lead exposure can have harmful effects on health.
How Can We Get Exposed To Lead?
One of the primary sources of lead exposure today is lead-based paint in older homes. However, many older homes still contain lead-based paint, which can become a lead exposure source if the paint is deteriorating or if renovation or remodeling work is done in the house. When lead gets into the bloodstream, it travels to all major organs, most importantly the brain. If lead gets inside an infant’s or a child’s brain, it can do serious damage.
Lead Poisoning In Children?
Children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure from contaminated soil because they often play on the ground and may put their hands or other objects in their mouths. When a child is lead poisoned, they may have trouble learning, concentration issues, have a lower I.Q., be hyperactive, and have difficulties getting along with others. Lead poisoning has also been linked to delinquent behavior later in life because of the changes it makes to the developing brain. These hardships are avoidable and happen only because people ignore, or don’t know about, the danger.
What Should We Do If A Child Gets Exposed To Lead?
Children exposed to lead may need follow-up measures, depending on the blood lead levels. Your doctor may recommend a more detailed assessment of potential sources of lead at home and environment, repeat testing, and nutritional counseling to improve calcium and iron in the diet. Treatment to remove lead from the body may be required for children with the highest blood lead levels.
Lead Poison In Adults
Although children are at the greatest risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Some signs and symptoms of adult lead poisoning are:
- High blood pressure.
- Joint and muscle pain
- Difficulties with memory or concentration
- Abdominal pain
- Mood disorders
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth
- Avoid standing and moving for extended periods of time.
In children and adults, high levels of lead may also cause seizures and coma or can be fatal.
What Causes Lead Poisoning?
Causes of lead poisoning can be:
- The water you drink mostly comes from lead pipes.
- Lead emissions pollute the air you breathe.
- The soil contains non-biodegradable lead.
- Paints on the walls, low-quality toys, aluminum cans/vessels to ceramic glazes in pottery/dinnerware.
- Lead can even be found in certain cosmetics like lipsticks, nail polish, and poor-quality crayons/colored pencils.
- Car batteries may also contain lead.
How To Prevent Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning may be avoided with a few easy steps. These include:
- Deliver safe (lead) toys and items to infants and young children.
- Keep the house free from dust.
- Before eating, make sure everyone washes their hands.
- Check for lead in your water. If there are high lead levels, use a filtering device.
- Regularly clean the aerators and faucets.
- Wash bottles and toys of children frequently.
- Teaching your kids to wash their hands after playing is essential.
- Make sure that every contractor working at your home has lead control certification.
- Use lead-free paint
- Avoid all places that could have been painted with lead-based paint.
Facts To Remember About Lead
The global magnitude of lead poisoning is only recently coming to light. Here are some findings from research on lead exposure and its effects:
- Lead is everywhere
- Lead exposure is hard to detect
- Lead affects children more than adults
- Lead impacts growth outcomes
- Even a little means a lot
- Prevention is the best cure
In conclusion, lead poisoning is a serious public health concern that affects both children and adults. It occurs when lead, a toxic heavy metal, accumulates in the body,