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Medico-Legal Update
Year : 2011, Volume : 11, Issue : 1

Print ISSN : 0971-720X. Online ISSN : 0974-1283.

Lead toxicity in children: A review

N Pradeep Kumar K., Post Graduate Student, Hegde Amitha M., Senior Professor and HOD

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Children Dentistry, A. B. Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Deralakatte, Mangalore 575018, Karnataka, India.


Lead is a widely used metal, but it is simultaneously a versa-tile, subtle, and persistent poison. Lead is toxic to humans, with the most deleterious effects on the hemopoietic, nervous, renal and reproductive systems. The main sources of lead exposure are paints, water, food, dust, soil, kitchen utensils, and leaded gasoline. The majority of cases of childhood lead poisoning are due to oral ingestion and absorption through the gut. Hyperactivity, anorexia, decreased play activity, low intelligence quotient, and poor school performance have been observed in children with high lead levels. Lead crosses the placenta during pregnancy and has been associated with intrauterine death, prematurity and low birth weight. Lead toxicity is a significant but preventable health problem. Medical practitioners and par-ents need to be made more aware and educated regarding the problem of lead toxicity.


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