The symptoms of chronic lead poisoning vary within very wide limits, from colic and constipation up to total blindness, paralysis, convulsions and death. They are thus described by Dr J. T. Arlidge (Diseases of Occupations) The poison finds its way gradually into the whole mass of the circulating blood, and exerts its effects mainly on the nervous system, paralysing nerve-force and with it muscular power. Its victims become of a sallow-waxy hue; the functions of the stomach and bowels are deranged, appetite fails and painful colic with constipation supervenes. The loss of power is generally shown first in the fingers, hands and wrists, and the condition known as "wrist-drop " soon follows, rendering the victim useless for work. The palsy will extend to the shoulders, and after no long time to the legs also. Other organs frequently involved are the kidneys, the tissue of which becomes permanently damaged; whilst the sight is weakened or even lost.
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