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.

Symptoms for high levels of lead in adults and children:

  • Stomachaches, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Persistent, unexplained fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Higher rates of tooth decay

Additional symptoms caused by lead exposure:

  • 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.

Back to Lead Poisoning FAQs 



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