Lead poisoning is a condition that occurs when lead builds up in the body.
Lead is a poisonous metal to the human body when inhaled or eaten. Lead is commonly found in lead based paints.
Lead poisoning is fatal. Although lead poisoning can be treated the damage it causes cannot be reversed. It occurs in a number of years or months depending on the lead intake amount. In children lead poisoning mostly occurs when children insert objects containing lead in their mouth or when they touch the objects that contain lead and insert their fingers in their mouth. In adults the most common lead poisoning occurs when adults take fluids mostly water that was in tank painted with a lead based paint. Lead poisoning is considered to be more fatal in children than adults as children’s brains are still developing.
What are the most common causes of lead poisoning?
The most common causes of lead poisons are lead based paints which people mostly children touch and insert them in their mouth thus introducing lead poisons in their body which eventually cause lead poisoning.
Other common sources of lead are,
· Toys and house items containing lead paints.
· Paint sets and supplies.
· Water pipes containing lead based paints, etc
Who is at risk of lead poisoning?
Children are prone to lead poisoning than adults this is because they put almost everything in their mouth. People in developing countries are also at a high risk of lead poisoning as these countries do not have strict rules regulating lead and lead based products. People living in old buildings are also at a high risk of lead poisoning as earlier paints which are on their houses have high lead levels.
Lead build up in the body is slow and it is after several exposures to lead that lead poisoning symptoms occur.
These signs are:
· Pain on the abdomen.
· Cramps on the abdomen.
· Sleep problems.
· Lack of development in children.
· Felling tired.
· Loss of memory.
· Numbness in cases of extreme lead poisoning.
How lead poisoning is treated.
The first step in cases of lead poisoning is to locate the cause of lead poisoning, after locating the cause eliminate it, if the cause can’t be eliminated seal it.
NOTE: In case of eliminating lead based paint on buildings by scraping always ware a gas masks and keep the room well ventilated and free from children. This is to ensure that you do not inhale the paint as when inhaled it can cause lead poisoning.
In severe case of lead poisoning chelation therapy is used to treat lead poisoning. This procedure known as chelation therapy helps to bind the accumulated lead thus making the lead to be excreted in urine. In cases where Activated charcoal is used in the chelation therapy, lead is excreted through defecation. EDTA chemical is used to reverse effects of chronic exposure to lead.
How lead poisoning can be prevented.
· Avoid taking painted toy waste and canned substances from foreign countries.
· Prepare food and drinks using cold water.
· Drink bottled water.
· Regularly wash children toys.
· Only use lead free paints.
· Avoid areas painted with lead based paint.