Harm Of Exposure To Lead Paint

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Lead occurs naturally within the environment and has many productive industrial uses. Everyone is exposed to minute amounts of lead in the air, soil, food, drinking water and many consumer products. However, even small amounts of lead in your blood can be hazardous to your health.

Lead poisoning is a damaging attack of lead on the body. It is caused when an individual swallows or inhales any form of lead. Lead poisoning can cause brain damage, nerve damage and kidney damage.

Serious lead poisoning, which is rather rare, is caused when an individual inhales or swallows a large quantity of lead over a short period of time. Very chronic lead poisoning mostly occurs in children who ingest small amounts of lead over a longer period of time.

Lead paint causes damage in the entire human body. Hypertension is one of the symptoms of lead poisoning. For a pregnant woman, lead poisoning can damage the fetus and result in brain damage. A child will suffer more damage if there is a higher level of lead in their system. A child can experience learning disabilities, behavioral problems and mental retardation if lead has been in the blood for a long period of time. At higher levels, lead poisoning can result in seizures, comas or possibly death.

One out of six children in the United States alone have high levels of lead in their blood, as reported by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Many older homes have peeling paint and contribute to lead poisoning in children. Other children get exposed to lead through lead dust or soil contaminated by paint or leaded gasoline. Children between 12 and 36 months old are more prone to lead poisoning due to their propensity to put things in their mouth.

Homes which were built before 1978 often have lead-based paint, as reported by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. This is the means by which most of the lead poisoning takes place for families who live in these older homes. Workers can be exposed to lead through inhalation of fumes and dust particles as well as through ingestion as a result of lead presence on the hands, clothes, food or drinks. Additionally these workers can transport these lead particles to their homes on their hands, hair, skin, clothing and even their vehicles causing a potential exposure risk to their families.

The first step in treating lead poisoning is to avoid further contact with lead. For adults, this usually means making changes at work or in hobbies. For children, it means that parents and guardians need to find and remove sources of lead in the home. Lead poisoning can require invasive medical treatment and hospitalization in attempt to expel some of the lead from the affected person's blood. In most states, the public health department can help assess the home and identify lead sources.

If you are concerned about your family being exposed to lead , contact your local health department and request an inspection or for consultation of removing/reducing the presence of lead in your home. A blood test is the only accurate way to find out if you or a family member have been exposed to lead. Your doctor or health department can provide you with the necessary testing.

To reduce a child's exposure to lead, regularly mop the floors, windowsills, and other exposed surfaces with a damp material, frequently wash children's hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys, and encourage shoes to be taken off upon entering the home.

Symptoms of adult lead poisoning include headaches, weakness of the muscles, memory loss, moodiness, abdominal pain, headache and reduced sperm count in men.

Symptoms of lead poisoning in children are more prevalent and include vomiting, abdominal pain, irritability, constipation, weight loss, difficulty in learning, anemia, and appetite loss.