Lead poisoning

Alternative Names

Plumbism

Definition of Lead poisoning

Lead is a very strong poison. When a person swallows a lead object or breathes in lead dust, some of the poison can stay in the body and cause serious health problems.

Symptoms

There are many possible symptoms of lead poisoning. Lead can affect many different parts of the body. A single high dose of lead can cause severe emergency symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

Adults who have had mildly high lead levels often recover without problems. In children, even mild lead poisoning can have a permanent impact on attention and IQ.

Review

Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/2/2011

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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