How can lead affect me and my family's health?
  • Lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body. The most sensitive to lead poisoning is the central nervous system, but lead can also affect the respiratory system, the reproductive system and the circulatory system.
  • Exposure to lead is very dangerous for young and unborn children. Unborn children can be exposed to lead through their mothers. Harmful effects include premature births, low birth weight, decreased mental ability in the infant, learning difficulties and reduced growth in young children.
  • Exposure to lead in toddlers and pre-school aged children is also a serious concern because of hand-to-mouth activities and playing on floors. Children age six and younger are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can lead to behavioral and learning problems.
  • Exposure to high levels of lead for adults may decrease reaction time, cause weakness in fingers, wrists or ankles and possibly affect memory. Lead may cause high blood pressure, anemia (a disorder of the blood) and expectant mothers to abort unborn children. It may also damage the male reproductive system. The connection between these effects and exposure to low levels of lead is uncertain.

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1. How can I reduce my child's exposure to lead?
2. How can lead affect me and my family's health?
3. Is there a medical test to determine whether I have been exposed to lead?
4. What is lead?
5. Where can I get more information?