Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Fred | 2011-06-13


Possible lead exposure in 30 month old

We went to sports complex with my 30 month old on Saturday, and the paint was flaking off some metals. He touched the metal surface. He later put his fingers in his mouth (I do not think he ingested any paint). I am worried that some quanitity of lead based paint got into his system (apparently South African paints still contain large quantities of lead). His behaviour has changed, and he has become irritable and is crying at night, but it could be a coincidence.

I also realised also live in an old flat, and it has been stripped/painted recently.

Should I be concerned about lead exposure? Should I ask the paediatrician for a blood lead level test? He is lagging behind his peers in speech development, but is still within the limits for speech for his age. Apart from that he has no issues, apart from a low appetite.

Expert's Reply



This is a really excellent question and you have given very specific information. I agree that it is essential that your son's blood lead level should be tested. Some paints,especially enamel paints still contain lead in this country. This is despite an agreement dating back many years that lead would be removed from paints.

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