Blood Test to Detect Lead Poisoning Lead poisoning is dangerous and can contribute to numerous health complications. This heavy metal is present in gasoline, medical equipment, paints, batteries, metal alloys and more. Lead is primarily deposited in bones, and it affects individuals directly, depending on their age and health levels. It is excreted through urine and feces, but it can also be found in blood, breast milk, saliva, and sweat.
Blood Test to Detect Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning is dangerous and can contribute to numerous health complications. This heavy metal is present in gasoline, medical equipment, paints, batteries, metal alloys and more.
Lead is primarily deposited in bones, and it affects individuals directly, depending on their age and health levels. It is excreted through urine and feces, but it can also be found in breast milk, saliva, and sweat.
Sources of lead:
Although the presence of lead in household items has been drastically monitored and reduced, this metal can still be found in:
· Air and soil
· Potable water
· Different types of paints
· Old toys and furniture items
· Cosmetics and certain medicine
Lead poisoning symptoms
When the level of lead in the body increases to an alarming value, certain symptoms can appear such as:
· Stomach problems
· Sleep disturbances
· Muscle weakness
· Lack of appetite
In severe cases, lead poisoning can cause death, particularly if the quantity ingested has been high.
These symptoms usually appear after three weeks from the moment of exposure.
More serious symptoms can include:
· Slurred speech
· Mental retardation
· Poor cognitive function
· Brain damage
· Convulsions and seizures
· Change in behavioral patterns
The lead-crime connection hypothesis
During the 1960s and 1970s, lead was added to the gasoline used by vehicles and it subsequently ended up in the atmosphere. Kids growing in these decades were more exposed to lead (inhaling it from the air) and since this metal is known for causing changes in behavioral patterns, researchers believe that it might have provoked a substantial increase in crime rate.
However, a significant decrease in crime rate occurred between 1994 and 2004 and it might be attributed to a drasticreduction of lead exposure among children. This happened mainly because fuels were manufactured without pollutants such as lead since the 1980s, and its quantity in the breathable air was heavily reduced.
Lead treatment and prevention options
A urine specimen is required to determine the lead levels in a person’s body. Depending on the results, doctors can recommend certain treatment options to eliminate lead content as well as preventing additional exposure.
Here are a few useful prevention tips:
· Water filtration systems can purify tap water and eliminate most lead content as well as other pollutants
· Keeping a clean and dust-free house
· Inspecting painted surfaces and address paint deterioration immediately
· Washing hands often
Eliminating lead from the body is a natural process which happens over time. Adults manage to successfully eliminate lead, but kids are more vulnerable to its dangerous effects.
When lead levels exceed 5mcg/dL, chelation therapy might be recommended as a treatment method for children and adults alike.