What is lead poisoning?

Lead is a nonessential metal. Lead in the body is unnatural. Lead poisoning results from the consumption of lead in some form. Children, with normal hand-to-mouth activity, ingest substantial amounts of lead from household dust when deteriorating lead-containing paint is present. It takes little lead to cause lead poisoning. A child can become severely lead poisoned by eating one milligram of lead-paint dust (60-80 ug/dl), which is equivalent to about three granules of sugar each day during childhood. To achieve blood-lead levels of 36 ug/dl, a child would have to eat just the equivalent of one granule of sugar a day. Lead-containing dust also may be inhaled by children through respiration.