How does lead affect the human body?

1 Answer
Dec 28, 2016


Lead affects the body in multiple ways.


Lead affects the body in multiple ways. Most humans are exposed to low levels of lead over an extended period of time, as opposed to high levels all at one time. Children, infants, and fetuses are particularly at risk due to their smaller body size and the fact that they are growing and developing rapidly.

Lead is mainly stored in our bones but can also be stored in our brain, kidneys, and other soft tissues.

Acute (high levels at one time) exposure can cause:
1. Coma
2. Seizures
3. Shock
4. Constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues
5. Death

Chronic exposure:
1. In children, there are neurological effects such as behavioral changes, lower IQ, poor attention span, and other developmental and behavioral issues.
2. Adults may experience memory loss, insomnia, and headaches, and other neurological effects.
3. Reproductive issues (both men and women)
4. Kidney failure
5. Increased blood pressure

Read more about lead poisoning here and here.