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Sep 01

What Are The Signs Of Lead Exposure & Poisoning?

Lead was a common metal used in paints before it was banned in 1978 and used to be a common material used in piping until government regulations were passed in 1986. If lead is ingested or the fumes inhaled, it can be stored in the within our tissues and can cause lead poisoning. Lead poisoning has some serious effects on our bodies, so it’s always important to check for lead around your property.

What are the sources of lead exposure & poisoning?

The two most common sources of lead exposure are paints and piping. Lead-based paints were used in furniture, children’s toys, and household paint before it was banned in 1978. However, it can still be found in woodwork and on walls in older buildings, and if ingested, can be detrimental to human health. Additionally, lead pipes, copper pipes soldered with lead, and brass fixtures can be a source of exposure.

Other sources of lead exposure & poisoning can come from soil or household dust— these forms can easily be inhaled. You should try to avoid eating and drinking in areas that are known to contain lead. As a safety precaution, if you’ve been in an area where you may have been exposed, you should wash your hands, shower, and launder your clothing to prevent further exposure.

What are the symptoms of lead exposure & poisoning?

If you’re worried you’ve been exposed to lead, there are multiple symptoms to look out for. In adults, lead poisoning can lead to:

  • Mood disorders
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hearing loss
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Hypertension
  • Poor memory or concentration
  • Fertility issues

Exposure to lead can cause issues with brain tissue and can potentially lead to brain damage. In some cases, it can cause kidney and nervous system failure, and in extreme cases, can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.

What should you do if you’ve found lead in your home?

If you think you or your home may be exposed to lead, there’s no need to worry – just call in a professional like Alpha Environmental for testing. Our specialized team of experts will be able to use the proper tools and techniques to detect lead in your household.

Matthew Micheletty

About The Author

Matthew has been Alpha's Director of Operations for over four years. He works directly with our clients in effort to provide exceptional customer service as well as managing the day to day of the company. When he's not at the office, you can find him at Red Tail Golf Club or cruising PDX in one of his project cars.