THEMES

Saturnism: symptoms and remedies

Saturnism: symptoms and remedies

Saturnism, derives from "Saturn", Roman god who for the Greeks is called Cronus, associated with Lead, and is the term to define lead poisoning. This metal can create gods serious damage to our body if we assimilate it, this can happen in various ways. Through the skin, through the mucous membranes, by inhalation or because we ingest it and digest it. When the quantities we assimilate are exaggerated, we can speak of saturnism.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to never come into contact with lead, even by mistake, because it is quite used and sometimes even for virtuous practical purposes. It is a malleable and heavy metal of dark gray color, also used in alloy with other metals, as well as pure, and for the production of inorganic compounds.

Saturnism: symptoms

The majors damage created from lead relate to nervous system, with brain and blood diseases, especially if the victims are children.

The saturnism due to an elead exposure or its salts, it can cause nephropathies and colicky abdominal pains, symptoms that we can also find in people who drink in inappropriate quantities of contraband alcohol because they can contain this metal due to a “lead-based” distillation, or in those who cook with lead enameled tableware. The categories most at risk, however, are workers in industry and crafts.

Saturnism: remedies

The first thing to do is to move away from the source and at the same time provide for the administration of a chelator of lead. If colic is also among the symptoms, we can use spasmolytics so as not to suffer too much from these pains, there are also specific drugs which can intervene if lead has caused dysionia and hypertension.

Studies are also underway to investigate the characteristics ofspirulina algae. It is speculated that it can be considered a lead chelator and the idea would be to use it for the purification of waste water. Of course it must be verified that this alga has not been grown in contaminated waters, otherwise it is obvious and inevitable that it will not have the benefits we expect.

Before getting intoxicated with lead, in general, our body eliminates it in small doses through the faeces. By analyzing the urine, on the other hand, an estimate of the absorbed dose can be made, but lead can unfortunately also reach breast milk or the placenta

Saturnism: causes

If we ingest contaminated food, we can get sick of saturnism but even if we carefully check what we serve on the table, we are not out of danger. Our body can assimilate this poisonous metal even by breathing it, as those who live know well in a polluted area.

Lead penetrates through the skin, through the mucous membranes, as in the case of the many professionals who work there from morning to evening: who deals with lead extraction or smelting, welding, production or disposal of accumulators, who handles paints or crystal objects, those who work to produce hunting pellets or restorers.

Among the categories at risk there are also those who drink spirits produced clandestine and without following the correct distillation and storage procedures.

If we do anything else by profession, pay attention to the air we breathe, the ground we tread on and the water we drink. The saturnism is not widespread because it is the very serious phase of lead poisoning, but this metal is very present in our life.

Saturnism: children

THE children are at risk of poisoning more than adults, even before birth, because this metal is also conveyed in the placenta, e during lactation, because it can “contaminate” breast milk. The dangerous age is not over because when a child begins to put what he finds in his mouth, he must keep an eye on being even more sensitive to the small doses of metal that he can ingest by biting objects that contain it.

When lead enters a direct contact with the gum, it is a problem, not immediate but which in the long run can cause serious damage to the baby.

Saturnism and anemia

LAnemia is one of the symptoms of saturnism, perhaps not the most widespread but not the rarest either. When lead is absorbed, it is distributed largely in the erythrocytes and only minimally in the plasma and then reaches the soft tissues, bone and hair and teeth. The anemia that results from this type of intoxication is called hypochromic anemia, sufferers produce altered red blood cells, defined as "dotted".

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Video: Lead Poisoning. General Toxicology (January 2022).