- Occurs after occupational or home exposure to lead. There is no threshold level for toxicity.
- Anyone at risk of lead exposure requires screening with regular blood lead measurements. There is no 'normal' level, and interventions are initiated at the first sign of increased exposure.
- Causes neurodevelopment dysfunction in children and a range of cardiovascular, renal, neurological, and haematological dysfunctions in adults.
- The mainstay of treatment is removal of the source. Chelation therapy is given if blood levels exceed 2.1 micromoles/L (44 micrograms/dL) in a child or 3.4 micromoles/L (70 micrograms/dL) in an adult, or if the patient is symptomatic.
- Acute lead encephalopathy is a medical emergency requiring aggressive chelation therapy in an intensive care setting.
- Acute symptoms resolve with treatment, but neurological impairments and cardiovascular toxicities are irreversible.
- Lead resides in bone for decades after exposure has ceased, and all patients therefore require long-term monitoring.
Sist oppdatert: sep 27, 2012