Children have the highest risk of lead poisoning

Lead is one of the most poisonous elements and can cause harm even if people only ingest small amounts. The big concern is that it is a cumulative toxicant and affects multiple systems in the body. It is also stored in bones and teeth so it can accumulate over time. If you think you have ingested the element from any source, you should get a lead test as soon as possible.

Higher absorption

While lead poisoning can affect anyone, children have a much higher risk than adults. This is because they can absorb 4 or 5 times more than an adult from any source.

The absorption of lead can be even higher in some children. If they are deficient in nutrients such as iron or calcium, they will be even more susceptible to absorbing lead. As a result the risk is even higher if children are undernourished or have a diet that does not give them enough essential nutrients.

More likely to ingest it

Lead testChildren are also more likely to ingest lead because of their curiosity and some psychological conditions. Younger children go through a stage of putting things in their mouth. They can therefore easily be ingesting harmful elements from certain toys and objects that can contain it. It can be in contaminated soil and dust too.

There is also a condition known as pica where people have a persistent compulsion to eat non-food items. This can affect adults but is most common in children as an extension of their natural curiosity. The cravings can include harmful things like picking away at and eating paint. Older paints can contain lead.

Lead poisoning in children

The consequences of lead poisoning are serious for everyone. However, it can be even more dangerous to children. At high levels the lead will attack the brain and nervous system. This can lead to convulsions, coma, and is fatal in some cases. Surviving severe poisoning can cause lasting damage including behavioural and mental disorders.

At lower levels lead consumption can have a negative impact on brain development. This can result in problems with behaviour, concentration, and learning. It may even lead to antisocial behaviour.

Physically, lead consumption can result in diseases like anaemia and hypertension. It also harms the kidneys, potentially even leading to renal impairment that may lead to other health concerns.

Get a lead test

The risk of exposure and consumption of lead is higher in some parts of the world than others. It is especially so in areas where environmental contamination is a big issue. For example, there is a high risk in countries that continue to use paints and fuels that contain high amounts of lead. It can also be in the water supplies in some countries because of the use of lead pipes and solder.

If you fear that you or your child has ingested lead, even the smallest amount, you should arrange testing. A hair lead test can offer fast, accurate results. Hair Mineral Testing UK is happy to offer tests and can provide helpful insights into the reports too. You can contact us to learn more or order online.