What are the symptoms of lead exposure?
Lead poisoning can affect many parts of the body, but the most pronounced effects are on the central nervous system and kidneys. Lead enters the body through the inhalation or ingestion of lead dust or particles, and from there it travels into the bloodstream and organs. Eventually it is deposited in the bones and teeth, where it can remain for decades.
- Stomachaches, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea
- Nausea, vomiting
- Persistent, unexplained fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Higher rates of tooth decay
WebMD also lists the following symptoms, however it can be difficult to determine if these symptoms are caused
by lead exposure as they are common to other types of illness:
- Behavioral symptoms in children: Irritability or aggressiveness, hyperactivity, being easily distracted, impulsiveness, learning problems, lack
of interest in play, loss of appetite.
- Behavioral symptoms in adults: Irritability, unexplained changes in mood or personality, changes in sleep patterns, inability to concentrate, memory loss.
- Neurological symptoms: Poor coordination, weakness in hands and feet, headaches, seizures, paralysis, coma.