Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment

Lead Poisoning is a medical condition also known as Saturnism, Plumbism or Painters Colic, caused by increase in blood lead levels.

Symptoms include Neurological problems like reduced IQ, nausea, abdominal pain, excess lethargy, headache, coma, gastrointensional problems such as constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss.


Blood film examination may reveal Basophilic stippling of red blood cells, as well as changes associated with iron deficiency anemia (microcytosis and hypochromia).

Biological role: Lead binds interacts by binding to same proteins and molecules. After displacement these molecules function differently and fail to carry out same reactions, such as in producing enzymes necessary for certain biological processes.


1. Ingestion of lead contaminated soil and from ingestion of lead dust or chips from deteriorating lead based paints. Small children also tend to teeth and suck on painted windowsills as they look outside.

2. Lead found in drinking water. It can come from plumbing and fixtures that are either made of lead or have traces of lead.

LP 2


Mass Screening of Blood Zinc Protoporphyrin using "Haematoflurometer" which involved a simple non invasive finger prick method with help of a disposable lancet. Haematoflurometer is based on principle of front surface Fluorometry. A drop of blood is placed on a glass cover slide and inserted into instrument, where suitable lamp and filter provides excitation energy (420 to 423) that is focused onto underside of the cover slide.

Normal Levels

Average person have less than 10µg/dL or 100 parts per billion (ppb) of lead in their blood.


Chelating Therapy is a process involving use of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from body. For most common form of heavy metal intoxication, those involving lead arsenic or mercury, the standard care in US dictate use of DMSA (Dimercaptosuccnic acid) or alpha lipoic acid.


Anonymous said...

nice topic
helped me a lot in my project
do keep posting

Tarak Desai said...

Excellent post.. very usefull and informative :)