Avi was not quite 8 months old when he was poisoned. A.J. was just over 2-1/2 years old. They each had immediate and violent symptoms. They seemed like flu symptoms but without the fever (headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, tummy aches/ general gastrointestinal distress.) It took us two months of calling advice nurses and doctors at Kaiser to convince them that this was NOT normal and that they needed to try something else (we were repeatedly told not to worry and that they were fine since they did not have a fever at all.) Finally in October after an especially upsetting bout of diarrhea for A.J. - they agreed to run a battery of tests and one of them happened to be a blood lead test.

Short Term - Immediate Symptoms

Long Term - Ongoing Symptoms

Their long term symptoms (that I deal with every day) include:


• lack of appetite

• headaches

• suppressed immune systems (for Avi this means regular high fevers in the 104 to 105 range

  1. constant skin rashes and the inability for his body to heal cuts and scrapes well) ,

  2. inability to sleep through the night,

  3. severe aggression

  4. no concern for or understanding of possible consequences

  5. learning disabilities (AJ now in first grade is slow in reading and writing compared to other children.)

Many children with lead poisoning have no symptoms, some become violently ill.  The difference can be due to acute versus chronic exposure to lead fumes or lead dust.  My children had acute exposure from a single incident and had violent flu-like symptoms as a result.  I will post more information here soon about acute vs. chronic symptoms of lead poisoning.  In the meantime here is some information abut my boys’ symptoms.

© 2009. Tamara Rubin,  All Rights Reserved