HEALTH FACT ARCHIVE
Lead Poisoning...A Preventable Tragedy
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable.
- However, nearly
1 million children
living in the United States have lead levels in their blood
that are high
enough to cause irreversible damage to their health.
- Lead poisoning affects virtually every system in the body,
and often occurs
with no distinctive symptoms.
- Lead can damage a child's
system, kidneys, and reproductive system and, at higher
levels, can cause
coma, convulsions, and death.
- Even low levels of lead are
harmful and are
associated with decreased intelligence, impaired
development, decreased stature and growth, and impaired
- Peeling lead-based paint is a major source of lead
poisoning among children.
- Data from the most recent National Health and Nutrition
show that the percentage of U.S. children with elevated
blood lead levels
has dropped from 88.2% in the late 1970s to 4.4% in the
This information is provided with the kind permission
of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC). For more
information about lead poisoning, please see the entry to
in the MedicineNet Medical
Last Editorial Review: 7/23/2002