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Identifying the signs of lead poisoning

Working around a ship can expose people to a number of toxins and one of these is lead. In a previous post, it was discussed how New Yorkers working in a shipyard could be inhaling lead particles while performing routine maintenance. Therefore, it is important for workers around ships to learn how to identify the signs that they may be suffering from lead poisoning.

Healthline states that the symptoms someone exhibits vary, depending on the amount of exposure to lead. If people are suffering from a high dose, they may actually go into a coma or show signs of encephalopathy, which includes symptoms such as seizures, confusion or a coma. Other signs that people have a high dose of lead in their system include struggling with weakness in their muscles, experiencing seizures or feeling intense cramps and pain in their abdominal area. A dose that produces these kinds of symptoms needs emergency care as quickly as possible.

In most cases, though, people will experience less severe signs. According to the New York State Department of Health, these include the following:

  •          Nausea
  •          Loss of hearing
  •          Anemia
  •          Myalgia
  •          Irritability or fatigue
  •          Dropping of the foot or wrist

It is also possible for lead exposure to affect people’s reproduction systems. Men may find that their sperm count is lower or that there is an abnormality present in their sperm. Women may suffer a stillbirth or miscarriage. The NYSDH points out that all functions in the body, and organs, can be affected by prolonged exposure to lead. These include the digestive and neurological systems. 

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