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What are symptoms of lead poisoning?

Published On: Jun 17 2014 11:07:58 AM CDT
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By Mayo Clinic News Network

Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.

Lead poisoning symptoms in children

The signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children may include:

  • Developmental delay
  • Learning difficulties
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Sluggishness and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Hearing loss

Lead poisoning symptoms in newborns

Babies who are exposed to lead before birth may experience:

  • Learning difficulties
  • Slowed growth

Lead poisoning symptoms in adults

Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Joint pains
  • Muscle pain
  • Declines in mental functioning
  • Pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm
  • Miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/basics/symptoms/con-20035487