Lead is classified as a “heavy metal,” and is highly toxic to our bodies. Lead can enter your body by inhaling it in the form of dust particles in the air, or by putting something in your mouth that has been contaminated with lead, such as water with high lead levels in it. Lead is highly dangerous to people as it may accumulate in bone marrow and nerve tissue. For many years lead was used in a wide variety of products including gasoline, solder, plumbing pipes, and most notoriously, household products including house paint. In an effort to reduce people’s exposure to lead and probability of lead poisoning, in 1978, the sale of lead based paint for homes was banned, and the amount of lead permitted in gasoline was reduced. Even though lead is no longer used in the manufacturing of many products such as paint or water pipes, many products that had been manufactured before the ban went into effect still exist and have the possibility of contamination. Older homes and apartment buildings are key sources of lead as many still contain lead based paint on the walls and lead plumbing pipes. Already existing lead based paint and lead contaminated dust remain the most common sources of lead poisoning in children today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 24 million homes in the United States still have lead based paint inside of them.
Effects of Lead Poisoning
Children are much more likely to suffer from lead poisoning, as they are more likely to put things in their mouth that may be contaminated, such as lead contaminated paint chips. There are some reports that estimate approximately 400,000 children in the United States may be affected by lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can have disastrous effects on children as their bodies are in the early stages of development and lead accumulates in their nervous system, which can lead to severe developmental problems. Children with high levels of lead in their bodies may suffer from a wide variety of ailments due to the significant amount of lead in their bodies. These children may experience kidney damage, brain damage, seizures, decreased muscle and bone growth, learning disabilities, speech problems, impaired hearing, and nervous system damage. Some lead poisoning cases may possibly result in death. Many of the negative effects of lead poisoning may not reversible even with treatment.
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Lead poisoning is very difficult to diagnose, as symptoms of lead poisoning may be confused with other ailments, such as the flu. Lead poisoning symptoms in children may include appetite loss, weight loss, stomach pain, vomiting, constipation, anemia, headaches, aggressiveness, and sluggishness. The most effective way to see if a child has elevated levels of lead in their body is through a blood test. Young children who live in residences that were built before the 1978 lead paint ban or where old plumbing pipes are made out of lead are at higher risk of exposure to lead and should be tested for lead poisoning.
Questions and Consultations
If you or a family member has been exposed to lead and noticed adverse side effects, you should contact a physician immediately. If you would like to discuss your rights, are interested in more information on lead poison lawsuits, or if you have information about the cases that you would like to share with us, please fill out the free case evaluation form and a member of Seeger Weiss LLP’s experienced staff will call you to discuss your potential rights concerning lead poisoning. Attorney consultations incur no obligation on your part and all initial consultations are free of charge and do not create an attorney-client relationship.