Lead has been an important metal used for thousands of years in many different products. However, it was not until the 20th century that the threat of lead poisoning was fully understood. By the 1970s, lead was banned from most products, especially paints, and many considered the issue to have been successfully addressed.
However, recent discoveries in states like California have shown lead remains in the water supply and still poses a threat. Even today, it is still important to be able to identify the symptoms of poisoning early so that it may be addressed quickly.
Symptoms in Adults
For adults, the symptoms of lead poisoning are difficult to properly diagnose because they can often be confused with other illnesses or issues. The common symptoms of lead’s presence in the body include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Pain in muscles, abdominal area, and joints
- Mood disorders
- Difficulty concentrating
- High blood pressure
- Reduced sperm count
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
Usually, it is only when several people show up to medical facilities with the same condition that lead in the environment is checked for as a possible cause. If there is no discernable cause for your symptoms, you should ask the physician to check for the presence of lead.
Symptoms in Children
This is where lead poisoning is particularly insidious as it can stunt the growth and development of children, especially those under the age of five. Possible signs of poisoning include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Learning difficulties
- Delays in development
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of hearing & seizures
Sources of Lead Poisoning
The two most common sources of lead exposure come from pipes and paint made before the 1970s. While such sources are fewer and farther between today, in California recent tests in some communities showed that lead pipes are still being used in poorer, less developed neighborhoods that have not changed since the 1960s or before.
It’s also possible that lead contamination of the water supply may come from natural sources as well. Regardless of the source, if there are any signs of lead poisoning in the community, water supplies should be checked out quickly so that any lead contamination can be addressed effectively.
If you believe that lead is present in your home, building, or facility, contact the team at Brickley Environmental. They have the knowledge, skill, and equipment to inspect, identify, and remove lead from the property. Do not let another day go by if you suspect that your family or employees may be exposed to lead.