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Lead Poisoning on Children

Lead Poisoning on Children

Lead is a harmful substance. Even if it is only 0.001 micrograms of lead, it can do a lot of damage to your health.  Lead poisoning comes from everywhere: cigarettes, paint, ceramics, prints, vehicle exhaust, cosmetics, canned food and beverages, lead water pipes.  Those who work in a seriously polluted environment including printing, metallurgy, casting, transportation, paint, plastic, rubber, petroleum, pharmaceutical are at higher risk of lead poisoning.

How does lead poisoning impact our health?

Lead may go into our body via the respiratory tract, skin and digestive tract. Some of which are being release from our body through feces, hair, and sweat, and part of it has been accumulated in the bone marrow and liver, resulting in organ metabolic disorders, headache, dizziness, constipation, neurasthenia, anemia, artery atherosclerosis, hepatitis and other symptoms.

Many lead poisoning are caused by long term exposure to lead (occupational lead poisoning). Symptoms include metallic taste in the mouth, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, high blood pressure, and oliguria. A more common situation of lead poisoning are caused by environmental pollution.  Symptoms include headache, insomnia, memory loss, joint pain, fatigue, irritability, and indigestion.

Lead poisoning impacts children more seriously because:

Children have higher metabolism than adults, hence, faster in inhalation of toxic substances.  For example, the adult gastrointestinal tract absorption of lead is about 5-15%, while children are up to 25%.

Children's respiratory and nervous systems are not fully developed, therefore they are more vulnerable than adults. If children consume the same amount of toxic substances, it’s going to impact them more heavily than adults.  The lighter the child’s weight, the worse it could be.

Children tend to have the habit of sucking, for example, the outer layer of a pencil and lead containers, therefore they are more likely to be in  direct contact with toxic substances, which leads to a higher chances of lead poisoning.

The impact of lead on children:

Lead may cause a series of physiological and biochemical reactions that affected by the calcium level.

Excessive amount of lead may delay or stop the growth and development of processes and systems such as hemoglobin synthesis and vitamin D activation system.

Excessive amount of lead may also interfere with neuroendocrine function, such as inhibiting the secretion of adrenal cortex hormones.