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Health Effects of Lead Chapter 2 Lead Abatement for Workers Course.

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Presentation on theme: "Health Effects of Lead Chapter 2 Lead Abatement for Workers Course."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health Effects of Lead Chapter 2 Lead Abatement for Workers Course

2 2 Learning Objectives u In this section you will learn: ü How lead enters the body ü How children are affected by lead ü How lead levels in the body are measured ü How lead poisoning can be prevented

3 3 Routes of Exposure to Lead u Eating (Ingestion) ü Lead particles on hands transferred to food, drinks, cigarettes u Breathing (Inhalation) ü Lead particles in the air

4 4 How Lead Can Harm Your Body u Heart and Blood System ü Lead attaches to red blood cells ü Prevents cells from carrying oxygen ü Damages the red blood cells ü Reduces ability to make more red blood cells ü May cause high blood pressure

5 5 How Lead Can Harm Your Body u Kidneys ü 65% of lead in blood is filtered in kidneys ü Lead can damage kidneys ü Often damage is not detected until it’s too late ü Can cause kidney failure

6 6 How Lead Can Harm Your Body u Nervous System ü Most affected by lead ü Damage can be permanent ü Lead can damage the brain and destroy brain cells ü Damage can result in depression, irritability, forgetfulness, clumsiness, learning disability ü High exposure can result in hallucinations, coma, and even death

7 7 How Lead Can Harm Your Body u Bone Tissue ü Lead from blood is deposited in bones ü Prevents calcium release into blood ü Blocks production of new blood cells ü Bones and teeth store 95% of lead in body ü Stored in bone tissues for over 30 years ü Under stress, lead is released from bone tissue

8 8 How Lead Can Harm Your Body u Female Reproductive Health & Pregnancy ü Reduces fertility ü Affects menstruation and menopause ü During pregnancy, body absorbs blood lead more quickly (50% of inhaled/ingested lead) ü Lead passes through placenta to fetus ü May cause brain damage to fetus ü May cause miscarriage or premature birth ü May be released from bones back to blood

9 9 How Lead Can Harm Your Body u Male Reproductive System ü Decreased libido ü Infertility ü Damage to sperm, decreased motility ü Increases spouses chance of miscarriage, premature birth, and birth defects in child

10 10 How Lead Can Harm Your Body u Children ü Small doses of lead are dangerous ü Toddlers (1-3 years) especially at risk because they crawl on floors and put things in mouth ü May affect ability to learn ü Poor muscle and bone development ü Coordination problems ü Speech and language problems

11 11 Signs of Lead Poisoning u Tiredness u Sleep problems u Dizziness u Irritability u Nervousness u Headaches u Difficulty concentrating u Depression u Forgetfulness u Hyperactivity (children) u Numbness u Wrist or foot drop u Weakness u Clumsiness u Joint and muscle pain u Vomiting u Loss of Appetite u Stomach aches u Constipation u Metal taste in mouth u Problems having healthy children

12 12 Health Effects of Lead Poisoning u Anemia u High blood pressure u Damage to blood cell formation u Kidney disease u Brain damage u Nerve damage u Decreased fertility u Premature births u Miscarriages Some health effects of lead poisoning are reversible (such as kidney damage, others are permanent (such as wrist drop).

13 13 Testing for Lead in the Body u Blood lead level - amount of lead in the blood ü Blood lead level (BLL) test ü Zinc protporphyrin (ZPP) test  BLL test shows exposure within last 6-8 weeks (  g/dL) u ZPP is produced when lead blocks formation of blood (not as accurate as BLL test)

14 14 Understanding Units  A microgram (  g) is a measure of weight. 1,000,000  g = 1 gram (g) u A penny weighs about 2 grams If a penny is cut into 2 million pieces, one piece would weigh 1  g u A deciliter (dL) is a measure of volume. ü 1 dL = about 1/2 cup ü A person weighing 165 pounds has about 60 deciliters of blood

15 Increase in blood pressure; harmful effects on fetus; joint and muscle aches Reproductive problems Kidney damage; damage to blood formation Anemia; nerve damage; constipation; stomach pains; irritability and fatigue; memory and concentration problems; clumsiness; sleep problems Blue line on gums; uncontrollable shaking of hands; wrist and foot drop; hallucinations; brain damage; coma; death 15 Adult Reactions to Lead 15  g/dL 25  g/dL 40  g/dL 60  g/dL 80  g/dL and over Blood Lead Level Possible Health Effects

16 16 10  g/dL 20  g/dL 40  g/dL 50  g/dL 100  g/dL and over Slight loss in IQ; hearing and growth problems Moderate loss in IQ; hyperactivity; poor attention span; difficulty learning; language and speech problems; slower reflexes Poor bone and muscle development; clumsiness; lack of coordination; early anemia; decreased red blood cells; tiredness; drowsiness Stomach aches and cramps; anemia; destruction of red blood cells; brain damage Swelling of brain; seizures; coma; death Child Reactions to Lead Blood Lead Level Possible Health Effects

17 17 Preventing Lead Poisoning u Abatement—remove the lead hazard permanently u Interim controls—control the lead hazard until abatement u Use safe work practices during a lead abatement project ü Don’t create a lead hazard while you work u Eat a balanced diet

18 18 Good Nutrition u Diets high in iron and calcium can reduce lead absorption by the body u Eat foods high in iron ü Cheese, fish, meat, eggs, spinach, beans, raisins, almonds, etc. u Eat foods high in calcium ü Milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, bread, fish, meat, beans, broccoli, fruits, nuts, etc.

19 Summary u How does lead enter our bodies? u How does lead harm a child? u How does lead harm an adult? u How do doctors or nurses measure for lead in our bodies? u How can you prevent lead poisoning?

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