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Lead Poisoning

Jason Chao, MD, MS Reviewed 06/2020
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Disease resulting from a high body burden of lead (Pb)—an element with no known physiologic value

  • Synonym(s): lead poisoning, inorganic

EPIDEMIOLOGY

  • Predominant age: 1 to 5 years, adult...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Often asymptomatic

  • Mild-to-moderate toxicity

    • Myalgias, paresthesias, fatigue, irritability, lethargy

    • Abdominal discomfort, arthralgia, difficulty concentrating, headache, tremor, vomitin...

TREATMENT

ALERT
  • For Pb levels above 5 μg/dL, confirm with repeat testing according to the table.

  • For blood Pb levels persistently >15 μg/dL, contact local public health department for home inspection...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Check for rebound Pb level 7 to 10 days after chelation therapy. Monitor biweekly or monthly thereafter.

  • Correct iron or other detected nutrition...

REFERENCES

1
Council on Environmental Health. Prevention of childhood lead toxicity. Pediatrics.  2016;138(1):e20161493.
2
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidelines for the Identificati...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Aizer A, Currie J, Simon P, et al. Do low levels of blood lead reduce children’s future test scores? Am Econ J Appl Econ.  2018;10(1):307–341.

  • Neuwirth LS. Resurgent lead poison...

CODES

ICD10

  • T56.0X4A Toxic effect of lead and its compounds, undetermined, init

  • T56.0X1A Toxic effect of lead and its compounds, accidental, init

ICD9

  • 984.9 Toxic effect of unspecified lead compound

  • 984.0 ...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Screen the following children:

    • 6 to 11 months of age with ≥1 risk factors:

      • Living in or visit a house built before 1960 with peeling paint or recent renovation

      • Sibling/playmate with eleva...

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