Environmental Health Topics:
Depending on the amount exposed, lead poisoning can lead to neurologic and hematologic disorders, especially for children whose brains are still developing. Lead exposure can also increase children's risk for behavioral and learning problems, as well as increase risk for cardiovascular diseases later in life. Children can be exposed to lead from lead-based paint, cosmetics, herbal medicines, and smelters.
- Lead and Mercury (ppt): A presentation on exposure to lead and mercury by Christine Johnson, MD.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Department of Housing and Urban Development Fact Sheet: Lead Paint
- Environmental Health Perspectives: Lead and Bone Density Article
Ingesting mercury can interfere with the nervous system and potentially cause harm, especially to children and pregnant women. The fetus, newborns and children are extremely susceptible to mercury exposure due to the sensitivity of the developing nervous system. Mercury exposure can occur from some herbal medicines and teething powders.