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DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS OF LEAD POISONING:  Accepted Laboratory Criteria

ELSTON L. BELKNAP, M.D.
JAMA. 1949;139(13):818-823. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02900300004002.
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Twenty-three years ago, as an assistant resident in medicine, my experience with lead poisoning began. I was called on to diagnose and treat lead colic, caused by the inhalation of lead dust in the manufacture of storage batteries, in a small group of patients. Fortunately for them, the monograph on lead by Aub and his associates had just been published.1 Using his clinical method of study and his uniformly effective treatment with intravenous injections of calcium, I was able to return 6 of the men rapidly to their work.2 Since then, I have limited my practice to internal medicine, and have also had the opportunity to study several hundred other lead workers, subject to nearly every known type and intensity of industrial exposure to lead. For eighteen years, at the time of this report, I have been responsible for the health of 80 to 100 lead workers in

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