Health Effects of Lead

Lead is a toxic metal that can damage almost every organ of the body. A single high dose of lead can cause severe symptoms requiring emergency care. However, it is more common for lead poisoning to build up slowly over time. Repeated exposure to small amounts of lead can accumulate in the body without obvious symptoms.

The body stores lead in the teeth and bones where it accumulates over years of exposure. During pregnancy, lead stored in bone may be released into the blood exposing the fetus. Lead is more dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to lead’s damaging effects.

If you think you or your child has been exposed to lead, contact your health care provider.

Additional information on the health effects of lead: