Lead Paint Poisoning
Although we may often associate lead with pencils and other innocuous products, some substances that contain lead are actually extremely dangerous. For instance, lead was commonly used when painting houses prior to 1976, when it was discovered that breathing in or ingesting lead could cause serious health problems. Although lead is no longer used in most paints, it can still be found in old homes and apartment buildings that have not been updated or were renovated incorrectly, as well as new toys. Because lead cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled, many of those who are being poisoned are not even aware of it until they begin experiencing health complications. In fact, health organizations have estimated that as of 2014, as many as a quarter of a billion people worldwide had poisonous levels of lead in their blood.
Manufacturers who still use lead paint in their products and landlords who do not disclose the presence of lead paint on their premises can be held accountable for resulting health complications suffered by third parties, so if you were exposed to high levels of lead paint and were subsequently diagnosed with lead poisoning, it is critical to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your legal options.
Where is Lead Paint Found?
Although paint manufacturers stopped using lead in their products in 1976, houses painted before this time were almost exclusively painted with products that contained lead, so those who live in older homes may be at risk of exposure. This is most dangerous when the paint itself is peeling, or is being stripped or sanded, as these actions release a fine lead dust into the air, which, when inhaled can cause serious health problems.
Unfortunately, old paint is not the only source of dangerous levels of lead, which can also be found in:
- Toys and furniture that were painted prior to 1976;
- Toys and decorations manufactured outside of the U.S.;
- Soil that has been contaminated by house paint scrapings;
- Children’s paint sets and some art supplies; and
- Ceramic or glazed dishes and pottery.
Because the use of lead remains somewhat widespread, parents and consumers in general are encouraged to carefully read labels and any contract addendums prior to making a purchase or agreeing to rent a residence.
Although it is possible to suffer from severe emergency symptoms after ingesting a single high dose of lead, it is much more common for lead poisoning to build up over time after being repeatedly exposed to small amounts. This is especially dangerous for young children who can struggle with developmental disabilities as a result of nerve and brain damage caused by long-term exposure. Parents should keep an eye out for unexplained behavior problems at school, hearing problems, slowed body growth, and evidence of kidney damage, which can all be caused by exposure to lead paint at a young age. Physical symptoms in adults could also include abdominal pain, anemia, infertility, insomnia, headaches, and seizures.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
Property managers and U.S. manufacturers are required to make certain disclosures regarding the use of lead in their products. Those who fail to fulfill these duties put thousands of people at risk. To learn more about your legal options against those who exposed you or your child to lead paint, please call Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. at 737-201-0543 today.