Poison Fact Sheet Lead Poisoning by ghkgkyyt


									         Poison Facts:
                       Lead Poisoning
Lead is a soft, highly toxic metal. It occurs naturally in the earth, but is spread
through the environment by human activities. For many years, it was used in
products found in and around homes, including paint and gasoline.

Where is lead found?
• Lead-based paint
• Contaminated soil
• Household dust
• Drinking water
• Lead crystal
• Lead-glazed pottery
• Pipes in old homes
• Some inexpensive metal jewelry
• In the air
• In the paint on some toys

Until 1978, lead paint was commonly used on the interiors and exteriors of
homes. Some outdoor structures are still painted with lead paint. Over time, this
paint can chip and release lead dust into the air. Lead paint in older homes
remains the most common source of lead poisoning for children in the United
States. Old pipes may also be made of lead, which can seep into tap water.

There is lead in the air. For many years, lead was used in gasoline. Millions of
tons of lead were released into the environment through car exhaust.

How is lead poisonous?
Lead can get into the body in two ways: through breathing it in or eating it.
Small children sometimes put paint chips in their mouths. Dust with lead in it
can be inhaled. The soil around your home can pick up lead from sources such as
exterior paint. Lead can also enter drinking water through plumbing.

Who is at risk for lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning has been linked to lower IQ scores in children exposed to even
low levels of lead.
Exposure to lead can cause:

• High blood pressure                • Fertility problems
• Nerve disorders                    • Muscle and joint pain
• Irritability                       • Memory or concentration problems

Most adults who have lead poisoning are exposed at work. Occupations at risk
for lead exposure include those that involve:

•   Welding                       • Renovation and remodeling
•   Smelting (producing metal) • Firing ranges
•   The manufacture and disposal of batteries
•   The maintenance and repair of bridges and water towers

Are there treatments to remove lead from the body?
Yes, medications exist that can remove lead from the body. These do not appear
to undo the damage caused by lead, however.

How can I protect my family?
Prevention is the best way to be safe from lead poisoning. If you live in an older home:

• Do not allow children to eat paint chips.
• Ask your local health department to test for lead in your tap water before you
  use it for drinking and cooking.
• Hire professionals to paint over old lead paint and to remove hazardous
  materials such as old pipes.

Source: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

 For more poison prevention and first aid information, call the

                     Poison Control Center
                     Serving the Residents of Kansas

                               Toll-free Hotline

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