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Lead poisoning symptoms

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The latest product recalls, including many toys and cheap jewelry made in China, have brought the problem of lead poisoning to the forefront of consumers’ minds.

Many parents of children under 6, who are the most affected by lead poisoning, are wondering what symptoms to be on the lookout for as warning signs of the potentially damaging disorder.

An article from TuscaloosaNews.com offers answers to some important questions about lead poisoning:

What are the health concerns with lead poisoning?

Elevated blood lead levels in young children — especially those under 6 years old — have been associated with slowing the development of the brain and central nervous system.

For them, lead exposure can result in reduced IQ, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing and kidney damage.

At extreme high levels of exposure, a child may become mentally retarded, fall into a coma and, although rare, die. Within the last 10 years, children have died from lead poisoning in New Hampshire and in Alabama, according to the National Safety Council, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting health.

What are some of the symptoms of lead poisoning?

Lead poisoning may be hard to detect at first because the accumulation of lead usually is gradual, building up until levels become dangerous and cause signs and symptoms.

Symptoms also are slightly different in children than in adults.

The Mayo Clinic offers the following as symptoms to look out for in children:

Irritability

Loss of appetite

Weight loss

Sluggishness

Abdominal pain

Vomiting

Constipation

Unusual paleness (pallor) from anemia

Learning difficulties

For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.