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  QUESTION: Is there any treatment for a 23 yr old who sniffed leaded petrol as an adolescent? 25 Jun 2006, Any State Australia

Does sniffing the old lead containing fuel cause lead poisoning and if so what levels (approximate number of times with what frequency and duration) would cause poisoning and the manifestation of symptoms?

What would be the immediate symptoms?

What would be the symptoms in a 23 year old, if any, if exposed during adolescence?
Is there any treatment if this has occurred?

Do adolescent sniffers of petrol abuse other substances instead of petrol or as a substitute?

ANSWER: 12 Jul 2006

Dear Sir,
The questions you pose are more appropriately answered by a doctor but I guess you are asking on the internet because you know that petrol sniffing is illegal so I'll do my best to answer but I do recommend that if you are in Australia you should find a doctor from and discuss this with them.

Yes, it is certainly the case that sniffing leaded petrol causes lead poisoning and the more you sniff the more lead poisoned you get and the more lead poisoned you get the more likely you are to a) suffer permanent damage and b) die young. Sorry that the only good news is that less is better. None is best.

People are incredibly individual in their responses to lead and will show different symptoms even when they have the same lead level as another person. See the list of symptoms at Health Impacts of Lead Poisoning Treatment is available (even when the exposure took place years earlier) but should similarly be individualised, for example, see by Dr Levinson who, by the way, does telephone consults all the way from Miami Beach, Florida USA.

I'm sorry but I don't understand the question: "Do adolescent sniffers of petrol abuse other substance instead of petrol or as a substitute?" I hope this helps.

All the best for a healthy long life.
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien


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