- Drinking water
- Food (rarely)
- Work in an industry employing or processing lead
- Age: 6 or younger
- Living in a house or apartment built before 1960
- Living in neighborhoods where homes were built before 1960
- Living in a home with adults whose work or hobbies put them in contact with lead
- Receiving transfusions from adults who have relatively high lead levels in the blood—This is a special risk for very small infants receiving newborn intensive care.
- Being born to a mother who has high levels of lead stored in her bones—Pregnancy often causes this lead to move from the bones to the bloodstream. It may cross the placenta and affect a developing baby.
- Breast milk may also contain lead. Nursing mothers who live in houses with lead hazards may transmit lead to their babies through breastfeeding.
|Placenta Blood Flow|
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- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Other behavioral disturbances
- Learning disabilities
- Motor skill deficits
- Pain or numbness in the extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite, abdominal pain
- Impaired hearing
- Memory loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood disorders
- Kidney damage
- Dental and bone abnormalities
Have your home's paint and water tested if:
- You live in a home built before 1960
- You think you are being exposed to lead
- Safely remove any lead you find. Your state's Department of Public Health will help with this process.
- Keep young children away from peeled or chipped paint.
- Wash children's toys regularly.
- Make sure children wash their hands before eating.
Keep It Clean
Play in Safe Areas
- Encourage children to play in grassy areas instead of dirt.
- Keep children away from foundations of older homes where peeling paint may have contaminated the surrounding soil.
- If there is a chance of lead exposure outside the home, have everyone take off their shoes before coming inside.
Certain adult hobbies can expose children to lead poisoning. These include:
- Making stained glass (where lead is involved)
- Soldering electrical devices with lead-containing solder
- Fishing with lead-containing “sinkers”
National Safety Council's Environmental Health Center http://www.nsc.org
United States Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov
About Kids Health http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety http://www.ccohs.ca
Bearer CF, O'Riordan MA, et al. Lead exposure from blood transfusion to premature infants. J Pediatr. 2000;137:549-554.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov.
Lead poisoning. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lead-poisoning/fl00068/dsection=symptoms. Updated April 8, 2009. Accessed June 10, 2009.
Lead Poisoning Prevention Program website. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/lead.
Lozoff B, Jimenez E, et al. Higher infant blood lead levels with longer duration of breastfeeding. J Pediatr. 2009 Nov;155(5):663-667.
National Safety Council Environmental Health Center website. Available at: http://www.nsc.org/ehc/lead.htm.
Ronchetti R, Van Den Hazel P, et al. Lead neurotoxicity in children: is prenatal exposure more important than postnatal exposure? Acta Paediatr. 2006;95:45-49.
7/2/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Williams PL, Sergeyev O, Lee MM, et al. Blood lead levels and delayed onset of puberty in a longitudinal study of Russian boys. Pediatrics. 2010;125(5):e1088-1096.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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