lead poisoning

Introduction

lead poisoning or plumbism (plŭmˈbĭzˌəm) [key], intoxication of the system by organic compounds containing lead. These enter the body by respiration (of dust, fumes, or sprays) or by ingestion of food or other substances that contain lead. Lead poisoning, formerly a leading occupational hazard in industrialized countries, can be an acute episode but is usually a chronic, cumulative disease brought about by continuous exposure.

See also occupational disease.

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