Diagnosing Lead Poisoning
The symptoms of lead poisoning are difficult to identify: there may be neurological damage without any noticeable symptoms. The only way to know whether your child is lead poisoned is via a blood lead level screening. Because a child is at greatest risk of lead poisoning between the ages of 12 and 36 months, this is the most critical time to screen your child for lead.
Even though lead poisoning can cause serious harm, it often goes undetected because there are no obvious symptoms. Lead poisoning is sometimes called the silent disease. Even fairly severe cases show symptoms that are difficult to identify because they are the same for many other diseases—irritability, stomach pains, dizziness, constipation, vomiting, muscle weakness, and lack of appetite. 1
Lead poisoning has no FINGERPRINT, or BEHAVIORAL SIGNATURE. That is to say there is no specific set of symptoms that identify a child as lead poisoned, as there would be for, say, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Neuropsychological symptoms vary from individual to individual. The change in intelligence seems fairly consistent throughout a number of studies, but this is probably because IQ testing integrates the assessment of skills