Lead poisoning (also known as plumbism, colica Pictonum, saturnism, Devon colic, or painter's colic) is a medical condition caused by increased levels of the heavy metal lead in the body. Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. It interferes with the development of the nervous system and is therefore particularly toxic to children, causing potentially permanent learning and behavior disorders. Symptoms include abdominal pain, confusion, headache, anemia, irritability, and in severe cases seizures, coma, and death. Routes of exposure to lead include contaminated air, water, soil, food, and consumer products. Occupational exposure is a common cause of lead poisoning in adults.
Contributions by Karlhahn, Arcadian, and Kfrohlinger.