02 March 2012
Heavy metals when found in increased levels in the body can cause some serious health conditions. The most common heavy metal that can cause poisoning is lead, because it is used in paints and other chemicals with practical applications. It can affect many vital processes in the body and can poison different body parts. Some of the organs that it can affect are intestines, kidneys, heart and bones.
Lead Poisoning- The effects of lead poisoning can be particularly serious in children. One of the main reasons why, is because of the way that it interferes with the nervous system’s development. It can lead to disruptions in the learning development of children who are exposed to particularly high levels of lead.
Symptoms- Lead can poison even in small amounts. Unlike other substances where there is a level of exposure that is acceptable, lead can poison regardless of the amount that gets into the body. There is no set ways of how symptoms can manifest. It depends on the patient and the amount of exposure that he has had. There are cases when a person who has an excessively high level of lead in his body does not manifest any kind of symptom at all.
In adults, the usual symptoms include a tingling sensation in the extremities, abdominal pain, loss of memory, pain and weakness. Unborn children are also prone to lead poisoning. Since they are still in development, they are at risk of absorbing high concentrations of the metal into their bodies.
Use of Lead in Paint- Though lead poisoning has many sources, one of the most common and one which affects the greatest amount of people is poisoning from paints. Some compounds of paint have a great variety of colour and that is the reason why it has been used as a major compound in manufacturing paints. When paint that has lead content starts to deteriorate, it can start breaking exposing a lot of people to lead. Paint particles can get to the soil where it can be picked up by children who play there.
Products such as toys are also painted and sometimes the paint used might contain lead. This is particularly dangerous to children since they still have the habit of putting things into the mouth. Lead poisoning that is caused by eating lead particles is far more serious when the lead particles are just picked up from the ground.