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January 12, 1935


Author Affiliations

Assistant Medical Director, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company NEW YORK

JAMA. 1935;104(2):85-87. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760020001001

The use of lead is so widespread throughout all civilized countries that lead poisoning continues to be a matter of concern to the physician and the public health official. As new processes are evolved in industry and new materials devised for general consumption, so does lead poisoning continue to appear under new and sometimes strange circumstances. For centuries the origins of lead poisoning, its nature, its varied forms, the action of lead in the body, the treatment and the prevention of lead poisoning have all occupied the men of science and the men of industry and the last word has not yet been spoken.

Lead poisoning may well be thought of as a counterpart of syphilis not only in the variety of its effects on the human system but in the manner in which it may be dormant and unsuspected in the tissues for years, apparently innocuous, until some alteration