1. Industrial poisoning can be produced with great
rapidity from inhalation of fumes of the soluble
salts of lead.
2. Where fumes are present in sufficient density
four or five weeks are sufficient to produce
profound cachexia, wasting, and anaemia.
3. The individual is now liable to violent attacks
of abdominal pain accompanied by high arterial
tension and slowing of the cardiac rhythm.
4. If renal complications occur they are parenchymatous
in nature, and albumen may be found in
5. Alternatively, cerebral complications may supervene especially in females with "toxic" hysteria,
convulsions, and coma, generally followed by
6. Where blindness ensues in last case, it is due
to high intracranial pressure producing an acute
7. Pigmentation may be found in the gums and cheeks;
and post-mortem in the intestine.
In the first case, the pigmentation or blue line
is of great diagnostic importance but not necessarily an indication of poisoning, merely indicating
presence of lead in tissues.
8. Lead salts have a destructive action in highly
specialised tissue, notably the blood and renal
cells on which the chief stress apparently falls.
Blood changes include profound secondary anaemia;
with or without normoblasts and stippling of the
10. In more chronic poisoning neuritis may occur
generally affecting the dorsal interosseous nerve
of the forearm and is a peripheral lesion.
11. Long- continued irritation of renal capillaries
produces a chronic interstitial nephritis or
small red kidney.
12. Chronic poisoning fosters arterio-sclerosis and
13. ti frequent.cause of death in chronic cases is
uraemia or cerebral haemorrhage.
14. Prevention is better than cure, only persons
having a high tolerance to lead, or where excretion can keep pace with absorption should by
employed in lead.processes.
Where poisoning is contracted treatment must aim
first at giving relief and later at elimination.
16. The classical ,drug to be exhibited is potassium
iodide in small doses' accompanied by acidulated
drinks and saline purgatives.
17. Cases of peripheral neuritis should receive
treatment for paralysed muscle groups and
strychnine therapy when nerve regeneration is