Alternate Names : Lead Toxicity, Plumbism
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
The symptoms of lead poisoning can vary widely. The effects of lead poisoning depend on the person's age, the amount of lead in the body, and how long the exposure has been going on. Lead poisoning is called acute if the exposure happens quickly. Chronic exposure occurs over weeks or months.
Both types of poisoning are harmful, but the symptoms tend to be slightly different. Acute or sudden poisoning may cause:
sudden changes in behavior
nausea and vomiting
unsteady gait or walking style, known as ataxia
seizures, impaired consciousness, or even coma
Chronic or slow poisoning may cause:
gradual changes in behavior, such as a child who becomes hyperactive
decreased school performance
intelligence problems and memory loss
occasional abdominal distress
paralysis of the hands or feet, which usually only occurs in adults
anemia, or low red blood cell counts
a bluish-black line at the area where the teeth and gums meet