Lead-based paint is dangerous because the signs and symptoms of poisoning are not as outwardly obvious as in other cases of exposure to dangerous chemicals. These effects can often be attributed to other factors unknowingly, while the exposure continues undetected. Some additional and misleading signs of lead poisoning include:
- Stomach ache
- Loss of appetite
- Joint and/or muscle pain
Because many symptoms are non-specific or similar to flu symptoms, parents may not be alerted to get immediate medical attention for their children. This is critical for young children. The longer a young child stays untreated, the higher the risk of permanent brain damage. It is also important that any worker who may have lead exposures be routinely monitored for elevated blood lead levels.
Even more sad is the fact that young girls who are poisoned and go undetected will store the lead in their bones. Later in life when they go to start a family, the lead can be released from their bones and sent through the placenta into the fetus. Thus, causing a variety of health problems for the child, including death. If you know any young couples getting ready to start a family, please suggest to them that it is a great idea for the female to get a blood level test prior to conception.
Workers with an occupational exposure to lead need to inform their doctors in order to give them all the background needed for an adequate evaluation of symptoms as possibly related to lead exposure. This is why it is also important to know the date of construction before doing renovations of any kind. Stay lead safe so they can play lead safe!
For more information on the health risks of lead, we recommend this post from our blog: The Banning of Lead-Based Paint: When and Why.