Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.
Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness, and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms.
Both inside and outside the home, deteriorated lead-paint releases its lead, which then mixes with household dust and soil. Children may become lead poisoned by:
- Putting their hand or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths
- Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead-based paint, or
- Playing in lead-contaminated soil
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