As the world is full of things that could make your life, or your enjoyment of it at least, better, it is also home to a vast array of harmful substances that could make you ill, or worse. Some of these toxic substances work almost instantaneously, while others like lead, act insidiously and kills its victim slowly.
Lead is poisonous. Long-term exposure to this toxic metal can result in serious health problems, including poisoning, which is one of the most common environmental diseases. Everything from wine glasses, garden hoses, to the balsamic vinegar you use could turn out to be notorious lead hot spots. Lead can also be found in contaminated soil, toys, furniture, pottery, art supplies, cosmetics, batteries, water pipes, and petroleum products.
When lead poisoning strikes, you could end up with nervous system, kidney, and stomach damage. The disease is usually hard to detect and symptoms do not typically appear until significant amounts have accumulated in one’s body.
Compared to adults, children and newborn babies who are exposed to lead before birth are more at risk of poisoning, because their brains and nervous systems are still developing. Infants and young children may touch or put lead-containing objects in their mouths, which are harmful to their development. The symptoms of lead poisoning in children may include irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, slowed growth, and learning difficulties.