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Lead Poisoning. James R. Ginder, MS, WEMT,PI, CHES Health Education Specialist Paula Mandel, RN, BSN Public Health Nurse Hamilton County Health Department 317-776-8500 www.co.hamilton.in.is. After the presentation you will be able to…. recall what lead is

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Lead poisoning

Lead Poisoning

James R. Ginder, MS, WEMT,PI, CHES

Health Education Specialist

Paula Mandel, RN, BSN

Public Health Nurse

Hamilton County Health Department



After the presentation you will be able to
After the presentation you will be able to…

  • recall what lead is

  • list three products that may contain lead

  • explain two ways children would become poisoned with lead

  • identify three signs and symptoms of lead poisoning

Exposed children
Exposed Children

  • It is estimated that 14,000 Hoosier children under the age of 7 are lead poisoned

  • In 2005 only 8% of ALL children were tested for blood levels. Of these children 1.27% had confirmed elevated blood lead levels (10mg/dl)

Source: ISDH

What is lead
What Is Lead…

  • A bluish white lustrous metal found naturally in the environment

  • Used in consumer products and manufacturing

  • Lead can be found in…

    ● Lead based paint

    ● Contaminated soil

    ● Household dust

    ● Lead-glazed pottery

    ● Inexpensive metal jewelry

Source: www.webmineral.com

Who is at risk for lead poisoning
Who Is At Risk For Lead Poisoning…

  • Children absorb lead more readily

  • All children are susceptible despite

    ● Urban or rural residency

    ● Race or ethnicity

    ● Income level

  • Children who are from:

    ● Members of minorities

    ● Recent refugees

    ● Medicaid recipients

    ● Living near or below the poverty level

Exposure to lead
Exposure To Lead…

  • Eating (Ingestion)

    ● Lead particles & dust on hands transferred to food, drinks and children sucking on their finders

    ● 20% absorbed in adults (US Department of Health and Human Service)

    ● 70% absorbed in children and pregnant women (US Department of Health and Human Service)

    ●Breathing (Inhalation)

    ● Lead particles in the air

Signs and symptoms
Signs and Symptoms…

●Tiredness ● Wrist or foot drop

● Sleep problems ● Weakness

● Dizziness ● Clumsiness

● Irritability ● Joint and muscle pain

● Nervousness ● Vomiting

● Headaches ● Loss of Appetite

● Difficulty concentrating ● Stomach aches

● Depression ● Constipation

● Forgetfulness ● Metal taste in mouth

● Hyperactivity ● Numbness

At Low LevelsNO observable signs and symptoms

Body systems that lead effects
Body Systems That Lead Effects…

  • Brain and Nervous System

  • Reproductive System

  • Renal System (Kidneys)

  • Circulatory System (Heart, Blood)

  • Skeletal system (Bones and Joints)

  • Muscular System

Other effects
Other Effects…

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Speech and Language Problems

  • Behavior Problems

  • Hearing Damage

  • Pregnancy complication

  • Concentration Problems

Lead and the nervous system
Lead And The Nervous System…

  • Most affect by lead

  • Damage can be permanent

  • Lead can damage the brain and destroy brain cells

  • Damage can result in depression, irritability, forgetfulness, clumsiness, learning problems

  • High exposures can result in hallucinations, coma and even death

Effects of lead on the blood
Effects of Lead On the Blood…

  • Lead damages red blood cells

  • Prevents cells from carrying oxygen

  • Lowers hemoglobin (carried oxygen)

Effects of lead on bone tissue
Effects Of Lead On Bone Tissue…

  • Lead from blood is deposited in bones

  • Prevents calcium release into blood

  • Blocks production of new blood cells

  • Bones and teeth store 95% of lead in the body

  • Lead is stored in bone tissue for over 30 years

  • Under stress, lead is released from bone tissue

Effects of lead on male reproductive system
Effects Of Lead On Male Reproductive System…

  • Decreases libido

  • Infertility

  • Damage to sperm

  • Increase spouse’s chance of miscarrying, premature birth and birth defects in children

Effects of lead on female reproductive system
Effects Of Lead On Female Reproductive System…

  • Reduces fertility

  • Affects menstruation and menopause

  • Lead passes through placenta to fetus

  • May cause brain damage to fetus

  • May cause miscarriage or premature birth

  • May be released from bones back to blood

Some known sources
Some Known Sources…

  • Lead-based paint and dust from lead based-paint

  • Lead contaminated drinking water

  • Imported cosmetics

  • Vinyl and plastics

  • Jewelry

  • Pewter

  • Fishing weights, ammunition, etc

Other known sources
Other Known Sources…

  • Lead contaminated soil

  • Occupational sources:

    ● Remodeling construction

    ● Smelters

    ● Battery factories

    ● Hobbies

  • Folk and ethnic remedies (Alarzon & Greta)

  • Food and food containers (tamarind candy, pottery, crystal glassware)


  • Some toys may have lead paint or other parts that have lead in them

  • To see a list of recalled toys visit: Mattel Toys www.mattel.com/safety/us/


    U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission



  • Jewelry may contain lead or paint used in the product may contain lead

Lead in homes
Lead In Homes…

  • Lead paint in homes built before 1978 place children at risk for lead poisoning

  • The older the home the higher the risk for lead hazards

  • Of the children poisoned, 80% of the exposed came from housing

  • 90% of the pre-1950 housing where the poisoned children lived had lead based paint hazards

  • CDC recommends having children tested for lead at 6 months and then yearly if your home contains lead paint of if you are exposed to lead at work or use lead in a hobby

Where in the home is lead
Where In The Home Is Lead…

  • Window sills and doors

  • Surface with chipped, peeling or deteriorating paint

  • Porches, rail fence

  • Bare soil around perimeter of house or play area

  • Floors where dust can settle

At risk criteria
At Risk Criteria…

Children 6 Years Of Age And Younger:

  • Exposed to or living in a house or childcare center built before 1978

  • With siblings or playmates who have lead poisoned

  • Frequently in contact with people exposed to lead thought work or hobbies

  • Who are recent immigrants

  • In low-income families

  • Enrolled in Hoosier Health Wise

  • Who are members of minorities particularly African Americans

  • Using folk or ethic remedies

  • Exposed to renovation and remodeling activities

Testing for lead
Testing For Lead…

  • A Blood test is used to check for lead exposure:

    ● Blood from a vein (Doctors office)

    ● Finger stick (Hamilton County Health Department)

  • Results > 10ug/dL require a confirmatory test:

    ● Must be sent to physician for a blood draw

  • Medical and case management is required

  • Retesting required if lead poisoning confirmed

Blood test results
Blood Test Results…

Normal Range 0-9 ug/dL


  • Remove the lead source

  • If the lead source can not be removed, seal the lead product rather than remove it

  • Chelation Therapy:

    ●Medication that binds with lead

    so lead is excreted in the


Other treatments
Other Treatments…

  • Nutrition Therapy:

    ● Diets high in iron and calcium

    ● Examples of foods high in iron are:

    *Cheese, fish, meat, eggs, beans,

    spinach, raisins

    ● Examples of foods high in calcium are:

    * Milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt,

    bread, fish, meat, broccoli, fruit,


Free lead testing
FREE Lead Testing…

By Appointment

Hamilton County Health Department



More information
More Information…

  • Centers For Disease Control


  • Consumer Product Safety Commission


  • EPA


  • Indiana State Department of Health