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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: How long from exposure to symptoms does lead posioning take?

 friendforhire - Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:03 am

Is there a timeline for a child or even an adult's exposure(any exposure situation) of lead poisoning to begin showing symptoms. Like for example, can living in a house that may have lead in the paint or in the soil for roughly 6 months cause lead poisoning in a child or multiple residents?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:54 pm

User avatar Hello,
It is not known how long an exposure might be present for symptoms to occur but if there has been a concern, it would be wise to have blood testing done to verify levels that may be present. It is possible to have lead poisoning without any symptoms at all. If there has been an exposure it's best to find out before symptoms may show up and some symptoms are quite subtle and not solely definitive of lead exposure. Lead can be absorbed and stored in many organs of the body so the symptoms could be wide and varied as well. Some of the same symptoms can also occur with other conditions or may show up as a learning disability which may not be apparent for several years.

Balanced nutrition includes adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C. A person who eats a balanced, nutritious diet absorbs less lead than a person whose diet is inadequate. So, this is something you can do. There are also treatments if the levels are too high already but all sources of lead exposure should be removed first.

I hope this helps. Best wishes.

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