Today I was removing some lead from a blue-stone slab. In the old days they used to pour molten lead into the slabs to fasten metal hinges to them for coal hatch doors. As somebody who does lead remediation in soil I had some confidence I could do it safely but probably because I have an over-reactive imagination I started to feel lead poisoning symptoms.

So I decided to refresh my memory on what those symptoms actually are. Here is a good list:

Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don’t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.

Symptoms in children
The signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children may include:

  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Sluggishness and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Learning difficulties

Symptoms in newborns
Babies who are exposed to lead before birth may experience:

  • Learning difficulties
  • Slowed growth

Symptoms in adults
Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Declines in mental functioning
  • Pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • Muscular weakness
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm
  • Miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women

I can’t remember since my moods are always changing but I’m pretty sure my mental functioning has always been declined so I think I’m safe in that area. And I don’t have time right now to count my sperm. But I do have a headache and abdominal pain. I think it is time to get my blood tested again. Being on so many jobs with high lead in the soil can’t be good for me.