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Lead Poisoning

Facts about lead exposure:

Lead is more dangerous to children than adults because:

Children between the ages of 1 and 3 who live in low-income housing built before 1978 are especially at risk. In early 2005, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a new policy addressing lead in children's metal jewelry. There have been cases where children who swallowed or repeatedly sucked on jewelry items containing lead developed high blood lead levels. Since 2004, the Commission has recalled over 150 million pieces of toy jewelry that was sold in vending machines and through other outlets.

Effects of lead in the body:

Lead poisoning can affect just about every system in the body yet often produces no definitive symptoms. The following are some of the most common symptoms of lead poisoning. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Lead poisoning may cause:

Lead is also harmful to adults, who may suffer from:

High levels of lead may also cause seizures, coma, and death. The symptoms of lead poisoning may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

Testing children for lead exposure:

If you think your home has high levels of lead, get your children tested. A simple blood test can detect high levels of lead, and is important for:

Your child's physician can test your child's blood levels. The tests are inexpensive or, in some cases, free. Your child's physician will explain the test results. Treatment can range from changes in your diet to medications or a hospital stay.

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