lead poisoning


Definition of lead poisoning 

: chronic intoxication that is produced by the absorption of lead into the system and is characterized especially by fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, anemia, a dark line along the gums, and muscular paralysis or weakness of limbs

called also saturnism

Examples of lead poisoning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Among those who could face charges is former NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye, who allegedly lied to HUD three times in 2016 about lead poisoning. NBC News, "New York City housing authority lied about squalid conditions for years, feds say," 11 June 2018 In recent days, the city has said that about 800 children tested positive for lead poisoning from 2012 to 2016 — far more than the 19 cases previously acknowledged publicly by the city, using a higher threshold for blood-lead levels. New York Times, "Mayor Says All Public Housing Units at Risk for Lead to Be Tested," 9 July 2018 In a quarter of the cases reviewed, there was no record that an investigator even visited the primary residence of a child with lead poisoning. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Protecting Milwaukee's children: What we know about the latest problems with the city's lead poisoning prevention efforts," 31 May 2018 Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults, and exposure to lead can severely stunt a child’s intellectual and physical development. Anne Branigin, The Root, "New York City Finally Admits that More than 800 Kids Living in Public Housing Tested High for Lead," 2 July 2018 Catherine Okello, before falling ill, lost her 10-month-old son Victor to lead poisoning. Deborah Bloom, CNN, "The woman risking her life to save a village from lead poisoning," 20 Apr. 2018 However, higher than average incidence of lead poisoning reach to the city's southern border, where 5 percent to 6 percent of neighborhood children could be carrying high blood lead levels, the report said. Rick Montgomery, kansascity, "It's been 40 years since lead paint was banned, so why are we still being poisoned? | The Kansas City Star," 23 Mar. 2018 If approved, Kowalik inherits an agency besieged by a hostile work culture, a lead poisoning prevention program in disarray, and mismanaged family planning and breast and cervical cancer screenings. Ahmed Elbenni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mayor Tom Barrett has nominated a new Health Department commissioner. Here are the problems facing the agency," 12 July 2018 Severe lead poisoning can lead to coma, convulsions and death, according to the World Health Organization. Lauryn Schroeder, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Does your school have lead in its drinking water?," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lead poisoning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lead poisoning

circa 1842, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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The first known use of lead poisoning was circa 1842

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More Definitions for lead poisoning

lead poisoning


Medical Definition of lead poisoning 

: a serious acute or chronic condition that is caused by exposure and absorption of lead (such as lead carbonate) and is characterized by variable symptoms including fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, impaired cognitive development or function, joint and muscle pain, loss of appetite, anemia, a dark line along the gums, encephalopathy, seizures, paralysis, and kidney damage

called also plumbism, saturnism

More from Merriam-Webster on lead poisoning

Nglish: Translation of lead poisoning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lead poisoning

Comments on lead poisoning

What made you want to look up lead poisoning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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