Has Your Child Been Exposed to High Levels of Lead?
Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Children can get lead poisoning from deteriorating lead-based paint, flaking off of walls and window sills around the home. Children can breathe lead dust or eat lead chips. Even small amounts of lead poisoning in a child can permanently harm them. If your infant or child has suffered lead poisoning, Gary E. Rosenberg, P.C., can provide tough, experienced legal services.
Effects of lead poisoning in a child can include brain damage, mental retardation, and behavioral problems. If you see a symptom of lead poisoning in a child, a lead poisoning lawsuit may be in order. Our expert pediatricians can help us evaluate your child's lead poisoning claim.
What is lead?
Lead is a metal found in the earth, and it is a poison. For years, lead
was used in paint, gasoline, plumbing, and many other items. Lead is still
in some kinds of pottery. As things are used or get worn out, the lead
they contain can spread. Lead paint was banned from home use in 1978.
If you live in a home built before 1978, or near a busy road, there could
be lead in your house dust and soil.
What is lead poisoning?
A child can get lead poisoning by swallowing or breathing in lead. Often, lead poisoning is caused by lead you can't even see. Dust from lead paint is still the number one source of childhood lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning can cause problems with a child's growth, behavior, and ability to learn. Lead can also harm babies before they're born. If you're planning to have a baby, it's important to protect yourself from lead now.
Why are young children at greatest risk?
Young children spend a lot of time on the floor. They like to put hands,
toys, and other things in their mouths. This raises their chances of swallowing
lead dust and paint chips. Only a tiny amount of lead is needed to harm
a young, growing child.
How do I protect my child from lead poisoning?
If you live in a house or apartment built before 1978:
- Repair any peeling paint. Call your local health department before you do any repair work to find out how to paint and repair safely.
- Pregnant women and children should stay away from home repairs.
- Be careful toddlers don't eat or play with paint chips, plaster, dust or dirt.
- Ask your landlord or realtor about lead before you rent or buy a home.
Don't bring lead into your home.
Lead is in some children's jewelry and charms, and old painted toys and furniture. Even new toys can be made with dangerous lead, such as is discussed below.
- Be extra careful with jobs or hobbies that involve working with lead, such as building restoration, plumbing, stained glass work, or using lead bullets, lead fishing sinkers, some craft paint, some kinds of pottery glaze, and lead solder.
- Fourteen percent of New York State children poisoned by lead in 2006-2007 were as the result of home renovation projects.
- Shower, and change work clothes and shoes before going home to children.
- Wash your hands and face.
- Wash work clothes separately from other clothes.
Keep lead out of your food.
Let tap water run for 1 minute before you use it. This will help clear
out the lead from old plumbing. Use only cold tap water for drinking,
cooking, and preparing infant formula.
Use lead-free dishes and pots. Lead is more likely to be in pottery from Latin America, the Middle East, and India, and in painted china. Lead is also in leaded glass, crystal, pewter.
Avoid using products that could have lead in them. Lead has been found in some traditional medicines, herbs, spices, and cosmetics from other countries. These include Ayurvedic medicines; cosmetics such as kohl and surma; and in liga, greta, azarcon, litargirio, and others.
How do I know if my child has lead poisoning?
A child with lead poisoning usually does not look or feel sick. The only sure way to know is to get a blood lead test. Health care providers in N.Y. State must test every child for lead at 1 and 2 years of age. Ask your doctor about testing a child older than 2. Older children are at risk if they:
- Live, or spend a lot of time in a home built before 1978;
- Live near busy roads or industry;
- Live with people who work with lead;
- Are recent immigrants;
- Eat paint chips, plaster, or soil;
- Have a brother or sister with a high lead level.
Some toys sold in this country that presented a lead hazard and risk of child lead poisoning, and were recalled, include: children’s hockey sticks – paint and decals on the sticks, shafts and blades containing excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard. There is a risk of accidental injury due to lead poisoning; baby bracelets and pacifier clip clasps containing high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and may lead to accidental lead poisoning, which can damage and hurt children’s health; A ball and cup toy shaped like a hammer and popular in Japan are recalled because the paint on the ball - it may be red or green - has lead in it.
Lead poisoning is a systemic affliction and can bring on numerous injuries.
Mild exposure can bring on a broad range of symptoms to child lead poisoning
victims including loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, fatigue, discoloration
of the skin, weight loss, weakness, insomnia, headaches, numbness, tremors,
dizziness, hyperactivity and anxiety. The child’s school performance
and grades may suffer.
Longer term lead exposure can carry more serious symptoms such as:
- Brain damage, kidney, heart and/or damage to the nervous system;
- Developmental issues (in children) and cognitive deficits;
- Hearing loss;
- Damage to the reproductive system.
For your serious personal injury, you need legal representation from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Contact us for your free consultation.
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