How can Lead affect my health?

The effects of lead are the same whether it enters the body through breathing or swallowing.  Lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body.  The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and children.  Long-term exposure of adults can result in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system.  It may also cause weakness in fingers, wrists, or ankles.  Lead exposure also causes small increases in blood pressure, particularly in middle-aged and older people and can cause anemia.  Exposure to high lead levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children and ultimately cause death.  In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage.  High level exposure in men can damage the organs responsible for sperm production.