Once lead is inhaled or ingested it enters the child's blood stream and travels to every organ in the body. In addition, it collects in the body's soft tissues and settles in the bones and teeth where it is stored and accumulates. Lead poisoning can be difficult to recognize however, it interferes with development of the brain and a child's central nervous system. Authorities report that for every 10 ug/dl increase in blood lead levels, a child's IQ is lowered by four to 7 points.
Other health effects of lead poisoning include:
- Brain damage
- Kidney damage
- Damage to the reproductive system
- Decreased intelligence
- Impaired neurological development
- Impaired hearing, and
- Decreased stature and growth
Elevated blood lead levels can also affect pregnant women by causing low birth weight babies and miscarriage.
Most children don't show symptoms of lead poisoning. However, elevated blood lead levels may cause children to complain of headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, stomach ache, constipation, or have seizures.