Intoxications by lead and its inorganic compounds


  • V.S. Tkachyshyn Bogomolets National Medical University, Kyiv, Ukraine, Ukraine



lead, inorganic lead compounds, chronic intoxication, anemia, polyneuropathy, encephalopathy, lead colic, antidotes


Lead belongs to the group of blood poisons that impair the synthesis of porphyrins and heme. Under industrial conditions, only chronic lead poisoning can develop. Lead belongs to the poisons that have the effect of material cumulation. The half-life of lead is 20 years. Once in the body, it is deposited in many organs in the form of the insoluble tribasic lead phosphates. A significant part of the lead is deposited in the trabeculae of the bones. Under the influence of provoking factors, an intensive lead release from the depot can be observed. In such cases, the amount of lead in the circulating blood increases sharply, and remission is replaced by an exacerbation. There is a wavy course of chronic lead intoxication. Lead and its inorganic compounds belong to the group of poisons that have a polytropic effect on the body, affecting many organs and systems. The blood system (anemia with specific characteristics) and the nervous system (polyneuropathy and encephalopathy) are primarily affected. A number of other organs and systems are also affected. The most severe specific syndrome of gastrointestinal tract damage is lead colic. Due to the impaired synthesis of porphyrins and heme in certain biological substrates of the body — in the blood, erythrocytes and urine, substances unused in the synthesis of heme are accumulated. They are markers of chronic intoxication caused by lead, in the presence of a relevant clinical picture. The diagnosis is based on data from a professional history, sanitary and hygienic characteristics of working conditions, clinical and objective characteristics of the disease and data from laboratory examination. The main thing is to stop contact with lead and remove it from the body. Antidotes for lead poisoning are chelators: tetacinum-calcium, pentacinum, D-penicillamine. In combination with technical and sanitary-hygienic measures to prevent chronic intoxication caused by lead, preliminary and periodic medical examinations of persons in contact with lead are of great importance.


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