Lead poisoning is one of the most common preventable poisonings. Lead is a potent poison that can affect individuals at any age. Children with developing bodies are especially vulnerable because their rapidly developing nervous systems are particularly sensitive to the effects of lead and it is devastating to the human body, inhibiting oxygen and calcium transport and altering nerve transmission in the brain.
The ingested lead builds up in soft tissue like kidneys, bone marrow, liver, and brain as well as bones and teeth. Lead absorption rates vary; the gastrointestinal tracts of adults typically absorb 10-15 percent of ingested lead, while those of pregnant women and children can absorb up to 50 percent.
Exposure to lead can have a wide range of effects on a child's development and behavior. Children are in double jeopardy from lead because their highest potential for exposure occurs when they are most vulnerable. Since children engage in more hand-to-mouth activity than adults, crawling and playing on the ground, they ingest more contaminants in dust or dirt. Even when exposed to small amounts of lead levels, children may appear inattentive, hyperactive and irritable. Children with greater lead levels may also have problems with learning and reading, delayed growth and hearing loss. At high levels, lead can cause permanent brain damage and even death.
Common sources include lead paint and lead contained in water, soil. Houses built before 1950 has the greatest risks of containing lead-based paint. Some children may eat or swallow chips of paint and some gets involved in an unsafe gold mining which increases their risk of exposure to lead.
Parents should make sure that their homes are free of lead paint; the lead level in their drinking water is acceptably low and refrain from involving children in mining activities.
Unfortunately, most children do not present overt symptoms of poisoning. Because their symptoms (ranging from irritability to stomach upset) may not be immediately recognizable as lead-related the majority of cases go undetected. . A simple and inexpensive blood test can determine whether or not a child has a dangerous level of lead in his or her body. The test can be obtained through a physician, or public health agency.
Early identification and treatment of lead poisoning reduces the risk that children will suffer permanent damage. Treatment begins with removal of the child from the sources of the lead. Medications can remove lead from the body.
Let’s wipe out lead Poisoning today!