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

Record numbers of children have lead poisoning, which leads to irreversible health issues. Sarah Kunst, Marie Claire, "Gretchen Whitmer Is Ready for the Top Job," 7 Nov. 2018 To name just a couple: As Flint, Michigan, has reminded us, lead poisoning continues to impose massive social costs in the US. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Billionaires are spending their fortunes reshaping America’s schools. It isn’t working.," 30 Oct. 2018 Lead paint is widely considered to be the primary source of lead poisoning in Milwaukee. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee failed to protect lead-poisoned children by massive neglect and missteps," 31 May 2018 These blood lead levels were substantially higher than earlier reports of lead poisoning in opium users. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "As if heroin weren’t dangerous enough, it may come with lead poisoning," 9 Nov. 2018 For Flint, the House authorized $1.7 million in new funding for food and nutrition services, health services at child and adolescent health centers and schools, lead abatement and investigation, lead poisoning prevention, and other services. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "State House approves budget: More troopers, no bottled water for Flint," 24 Apr. 2018 This isn't a totally foolish thing to believe—for decades, the government took the word of scientists who said that lead in gasoline was not leading to lead poisoning in workers, among other dubious claims. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "Chemtrails Aren't Real, In Case You Were Wondering," 14 Aug. 2016 Despite assurances of local authorities, pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha had been seeing an unusual number of patients with lead poisoning. Molly Rauch, Good Housekeeping, "When Your Water Poisons Your Children," 16 Feb. 2016 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

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

14 Dec 2018

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The first known use of lead poisoning was circa 1842

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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

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