Lead poisoning is very common. 1 in 40 children ages 1-5 years old have blood lead levels that are considered unsafe (over 5 µg/dL).
What causes lead poisoning in babies?
One common way children can be exposed to lead is through contact with chips and dust in buildings and homes from old lead paint. Children can be directly exposed to lead if they swallow chipped pieces of leaded paint. But their exposure is more common from swallowing house dust or soil contaminated by leaded paint.
How many babies are affected by lead?
CDC estimates show that about half a million children between the ages of 1 and 5 living in the U.S. have an elevated level of lead in their blood.
How do I know if my baby has lead poisoning?
Symptoms of acute lead poisoning include sickness and diarrhoea, a metallic taste, lack of appetite and stomach pain, tiredness or drowsiness and high blood pressure. Chronic lead poisoning symptoms include tiredness, headache, sleep disturbance, anorexia, abdominal pain, constipation, irritability and muscle weakness.
How much lead does it take to poison a child?
But there is surprisingly little agreement on exactly when a child has accumulated a toxic amount of lead. Everybody agrees that there is no “safe” level of lead exposure. However, the CDC doesn’t recommend taking action unless a child’s blood-lead level exceeds 10 micrograms/dL — a threshold set in 1991.
What happens if my child tested positive for lead?
Lead can harm a child’s growth, behavior, and ability to learn. The lower the test result, the better. Most lead poisoning occurs when children lick, swallow, or breathe in dust from old lead paint. Most homes built before 1978 have old lead paint, often under newer paint.
What if my child has high lead levels?
If your child’s blood lead level is very high, your doctor will treat your child with medicine to lower the amount of lead in the blood. If one or more of your children has high blood lead levels, your doctor will call your local health department.
Is lead poisoning reversible?
Lead is more harmful to children because their brains and nervous systems are still developing. Lead poisoning can be treated, but any damage caused cannot be reversed.
Does lead poisoning go away?
Treating lead poisoning
The damage lead causes cannot be reversed, but there are medical treatments to reduce the amount of lead in the body. The most common is a process called chelation – a patient ingests a chemical that binds to lead, allowing it to be excreted from the body.
Can your body get rid of lead?
As the body naturally gets rid of the lead, the level of lead in the blood falls. Kids with severe cases and extremely high lead levels in their blood will be hospitalized to get a medicine called a chelator. The chelator attaches to the lead and makes the lead weaker so the body can get rid of it naturally.
How quickly does lead poisoning occur?
Lead poisoning usually takes months or years of exposure to a small amount of lead at home, work or daycare. When exposed to large amounts of lead, it can quickly lead to lead poisoning (acute poisoning).
How long does it take lead levels to decrease?
Blood lead levels should decrease as the child passes the age of 2 years or so, and a stable or increasing blood lead level past that age is likely to be attributable to ongoing exposure.
How do you check for lead exposure?
A simple blood test can detect lead poisoning. A small blood sample is taken from a finger prick or from a vein. Lead levels in the blood are measured in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). There is no safe blood level of lead.
Where is lead poisoning most common?
For example, older houses and houses in low-income areas are more likely to contain lead-based paint and lead pipes, faucets, and plumbing fixtures. Children who live in households at or below the federal poverty level and those who live in housing built before 1978 are at the greatest risk of lead exposure.
Does Lead Poisoning make crazy?
At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioural disorders.