Lead poisoning, cumulative chronic disease caused by excessive lead levels in tissues and blood. Lead may be absorbed in industrial settings, through air pollution due to lead-containing fuels, or, in children, through eating old paint. Brain disturbance, with coma or convulsions, peripheral neuritis, anemia, and abdominal colic are important effects. Chelating agents are used in treatment, but preventive measures are essential.
See also: Lead.