Lead Poisoning

Dr. Ayush PandeyMBBS,PG Diploma

December 06, 2018

March 06, 2020

Lead Poisoning
Lead Poisoning

What is lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning occurs as a result of lead ingestion, which is present commonly in our environment. Although developed countries have strictly placed rules on lead exposure, it is still used recklessly in developing countries. It is seen that children are more exposed to lead than adults because of its use in paints used for children’s toys. Lead poisoning, as per statistics, accounts for nearly 0.6% cases of all toxic chemical ingestion cases.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

In the body, lead usually adds up in small quantities through recurrent exposure. When its concentration is high in the blood, it can result in chronic symptoms, coma, and fatal reactions. As children are more susceptible, it can harm their brain and nervous system development. The clinical manifestations of lead poisoning include:

What are its main causes?

The main environmental causes include:

  • Roadside dust, cement used in construction
  • Old water pipes made of lead
  • Food containers with lead glazing
  • Stationary items like pencil, ink and other stuff like toys, ornaments
  • Some Ayurvedic remedies

In adults, occupational hazards and vehicular smoke can cause lead poisoning.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

A thorough physical examination and history taking might give important leads to the condition. It is detected by measuring the lead concentration in blood. This detects the severity of the lead exposure and is mainly done for children. In adults, chronic exposure may be measured by means of zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) test.

Firstly, the treatment may involve avoidance of lead exposure. Lead removal may be done for the house to completely clear out lead and it should be done by an experienced person. Children may be prescribed a chelating agent to remove lead from the body.

Certain self-care tips:

  • Remove any old pipes or other plumbing materials that may contain lead.
  • Regularly clean your house
  • Eat regular balanced meals
  • Do not roam or play near busy areas

Lead is a very poisonous material and it should not be neglected. Proper removal of lead from the body is essential to prevent any fatalities ahead.


  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Lead Poisoning
  2. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Lead exposure and your health
  3. Ab Latif Wani et al. Lead toxicity: a review. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2015 Jun; 8(2): 55–64. PMID: 27486361
  4. American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Lead Poisoning. [Internet]
  5. The Nemours Foundation. Lead Poisoning. [Internet]

Medicines for Lead Poisoning

Medicines listed below are available for Lead Poisoning. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.