LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 6 no 2, 1998, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

About Us
bell system lead poisoning
Contact Us
Council Lead Project
egroups
Library-Fact Sheets
Home Page
Media Releases
Newsletters
Q&A
Referral Lists
Reports
Site Map
Slide Shows-Films
Subscribe-Donate
Useful Links

Visitor Number

 

A message to doctors

Most cases of lead poisoning show no symptoms at the time the poisoning is occurring.

The NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) recommends that no Australian should have a blood lead level above 0.48 mol/L (10 g/dL), and that there is a particular urgency in lowering blood lead levels in children under 4 years of age.

Lead poisoning is extremely common.

In a study by Prof. Michael Mira et al (MJA, 1996), of 718 children aged between 9 and 62 months living in Sydney, within 10 km of the Sydney CBD, 25% of the children had a blood lead level above 10 g/dL, and 7% had a notifiable level ie, above 15 g/dL.

Outside this radius, 9% of the children had a level above the national goal and 1.5% had a notifiable level. Overall, 17% of the children between 9 and 48 months were above 10 g/dL and fully 19% or nearly one in five of the

At lead levels where damage is occurring, symptoms are usually NOT present.

children between 9 and 36 months were above 10 g/dL. At 10 g/dL, children in particular may be suffering a 2-3 point IQ loss, learning difficulties, kidney damage and other significant health impacts. These patients will not be displaying symptoms. However, there may be some symptoms at higher levels, and these vary according to blood lead levels. The table below shows the symptoms caused by moderate, severe and medical emergency levels of lead in the blood. If these symptoms are present in a patient with blood lead levels less than 2.17mol/L (45g/dL), then those symptoms are not due to lead poisoning.

If there is a risk factor, a venous blood lead test is essential.

Unfortunately capillary droplet (finger-prick) lead assessment is not available in NSW and any capillary sampling has a high risk of lead contamination. Venous samples remain the recommended sampling technique. Blood samples can be sent to your chosen pathologist most of the private pathologists will send the sample on for lead assessment at a hospital or a larger private pathologist.

Lead poisoning symptoms at a glance

Moderate

Severe

Medical Emergency
2.17 to 2.65 mol/L
(45 - 55 g/dL)
2.65 to 3.38 mol/L
(55- 70 g/dL)

>3.38 mol/L
( >70 g/dL)

 

Muscle pains
Prickly, itchy feeling
Mild fatigue
Aggressiveness
Irritability
Lethargy
Abdominal discomfort

Joint pains
General fatigue
Poor concentration
Tremor
Headache
Abdominal pain
Constipation
Weight loss

Partial paralysis
Paralysis
Brain swelling
Stupor or coma
Fits and vomiting
Gum lead line
Colic
Death

Contents | Previous Item | Next Item

About Us | bell system lead poisoning | Contact Us | Council LEAD Project | egroups | Library - Fact Sheets | Home Page | Media Releases
Newsletters
| Q & A | Referral lists | Reports | Site Map | Slide Shows - Films | Subscription | Useful LinksSearch this Site

Last Updated 17 March 2014
Copyright The LEAD Group Inc. 1991 - 2014
PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9716 0014