If you are exposed to a large enough amount of lead, it can kill you in a matter of days. But this kind of short-term (acute) overexposure is very uncommon. Long-term (chronic) overexposure right away because lead can be stored in your body and released slowly. This could cause permanent damage to organs and body systems.
Symptoms of long-term overexposure to lead include…
- loss of appetite
- excessive tiredness
- colic numbness
- fine tremors
- muscle and joint soreness
- a metallic taste in the mouth
These symptoms and others can be signs of serious health problems which cause high blood pressure, anemia, birth defects, nervous, urinary and reproductive system disorders. Damage to the reproductive system can lead to infertility, birth defects, miscarriage and stillbirth. Damage to the central nervous system – and brain in particular – is one of the most severe forms of lead poisoning. Long-term overexposure to lead can also lead to kidney disease with few, if any, symptoms appearing until extensive and most likely permanent damage has occurred.