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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Lead Poisoning
      Category : Health Centers > Poisoning and Toxicology

Lead Poisoning

Alternate Names : Lead Toxicity, Plumbism

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Lead is a metal found in the environment. If a person is exposed to large amounts of lead, poisoning may occur.

What is going on in the body?

Lead is not natural within the body and is not required in the diet. Because of technology, however, lead exposure has become fairly common. This exposure can lead to increased levels of lead in the body, which may cause harm.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

A person can be exposed to lead from the following sources:

  • leaded gasoline
  • car exhaust
  • paint made before 1978
  • industrial lead exposure
  • burning batteries
  • poorly glazed ceramic objects, which may be used to store beverages
  • The people most commonly affected by lead poisoning are children. Children who live in old buildings with lead paint that is peeling or dissolving are at high risk. Lead dust or paint chips from lead paints may be breathed into the lungs or eaten.

    Though quite rare today, severe lead poisoning can cause death. Other risks are the long-term damage lead poisoning may cause in the brain, nerves, and kidneys.


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    Lead Poisoning: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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