According to many leading experts, lead poisoning in children is among the greatest environmental health threats facing American families today.
As a soft, natural metal, lead was once freely used in the manufacturing of many products, including batteries, solder, pottery, and gasoline. Most notoriously, it was also commonly used in paint before it was banned in the 1970s, so many older houses and buildings still contain lead-based paints, and therefore pose the greatest risk. A common cause of lead poisoning occurs when a child ingests chips of lead-based paint, or breathes the dust that is created when these paints are sanded or disturbed during renovations.
Understanding Lead Poisoning
Contact with lead can affect almost every part of the human body. Lead poisoning does not usually have any clear, outward signs or symptoms, making it very difficult to detect.
Doctors and scientists have determined that lead can be especially harmful to young children and unborn fetuses. This is because our brains are much more susceptible to injury from chemicals and poisons—like lead—during the developmental stages.
Exposure to low levels of lead can cause decreased IQ and intellect, learning disabilities, academic difficulties, attention problems such as ADD or ADHD, and criminal or antisocial behavior. At higher levels of exposure, a child who ingested lead could experience brain swelling, convulsions, coma and, in very severe cases, death.
Below are some excellent links for additional detailed information regarding lead poisoning and lead poisoning prevention:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Childhood Lead Poisoning
- National Lead Information Center
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lead in Paint, Dust & Soil
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Control
- Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning/Alliance for Healthy Homes (Protecting Children from Lead and Other Environmental Health Hazards)
- American Academy of Pediatrics (search for the key words “lead paint”)
Contact Our Lead Poisoning Attorneys
Ashcraft & Gerel’s lead poisoning attorneys have handled claims where children have just recently come into contact with lead paint, as well as cases of adults who were exposed more than 20 years ago. Regardless of when you, your child, or your loved one were exposed to lead paint, contact us to find out more about your legal rights.