How To Treat Lead Poisoning

  • Remove the individual from the lead source(s).
  • See a doctor
  • Eat lots of iron. Lead binds to the iron and the body excretes it.
  • If lead levels are extremely high, chelation therapy, which flushes chemicals through the kidneys and remove the lead, may be advised.

Lead Poisoning [WebMD]


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  1. mastermonkeyhabib says:

    Interesting, while watching good morning america (funny show by the way), they said there was no way to remove lead from the body besides medical avenues.

  2. Okay, anyone who takes medical advice from a blog w/o checking with their doctor is stupid, but I still feel compelled to say it:

    Iron poisoning is the leading cause of poisoning death in children under 6 (usually from getting into adult vitamins). FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do not start dosing your children with potentially-fatal doses of iron to get the lead out of their systems! See the damn doctor!

  3. etinterrapax says:

    And chelation therapy is extremely painful and requires hospitalization. Or at least it did when I was in nursing school. Just on my pediatric rotation, we saw the same little kid come in three times for chelation. Because of that, it’s impossible for me to treat the Chinese lead-paint news casually. No one should.

  4. RandomHookup says:

    Coming next on Consumerist: Do-it-yourself Brain Surgery.

  5. humorbot says:

    I think over on Valleywag there’s an emergency tracheotomy guide. If you have to use a ballpoint pen, just be sure to use one with black ink, not blue. Or red. Because that’s just creepy

  6. says:

    @RandomHookup: including ratings of which power drills are best for a home trepanning!

  7. humorbot says: Ooh, trepanation! I’ve been suitably out-commented. Good show!

    I guess I should say something about leeches or… bilious humour…

  8. Erskine says:

    Holy flaming fleams!

  9. JayXJ says:

    DeWalt of course, don’t your loved ones deserve the best?

  10. tevetorbes says:

    Ok, so yeah it’s already been stated, but eating lots of iron DOES NOT chelate lead and remove it from the body. Lead and Iron will not bind to one another.

    A person who has a healthy amount of iron absorbed already (through good nutrition) will be less suceptible to lead poisoning because your body is less likely to absorb the lead if you have lots of iron.

    However, iron DOES NOT remove lead from the body by some automagic chemistry. If you suspect lead poisoning, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.

    Btw, I quickly skimmed the WebMD article that supposedly claimed that iron removes lead from the body and saw no such reference. I typically find the Consumerist a pretty good source of information, but this should be changed immediately as it is incorrect and poor advice that could be construed as medical- as has been said previously, iron poisoning is just as deadly as lead poisoning.

    See a doctor, not a website, regarding suspected lead poisoning.

  11. rhombopteryx says:

    ( @ BEN mainly)
    As pretty much most of the commenters seem to recognize, stop at step 2 (the doctor) and ask her or him about steps 3 and 4!
    There is a relation between iron deficiency and lead absorption rates, but it doesn’t involve iron “binding” to lead. On the other hand, iron poisoning is a real risk and way more of a problem than lead poisoning in tots. Let’s not have anyone pull out the .357 to shoot the mosquito off the baby’s forehead.

  12. snowferret says:

    Don’t you think you guys are scaremongering just a little bit?
    Theres been a massive recall of toys not a massive lead poisoning. No one is freaking out because they have just ate 3 batman figures and are now afraid they might have an unacceptable level of lead in their system.