According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), today at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified, and there are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated). Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. If your child has suffered from lead poisoning, contact our team at McEldrew Purtell today for a free case evaluation.
What are lead exposure injuries?
Lead exposure happens when lead dust or lead fumes are inhaled. Upon breathing in of the dust, the lead is then spread through the respiratory system and released into the blood, causing potential injuries. Lead exposure or poisoning can also occur through ingestion of lead substances. Once in the body, lead can also be stored in the bones and re-released into the blood, thus exposing organs even long after the original incident of exposure.
Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Slowed growth and development
- Learning and behavior problems
- Hearing and speech problems
Injuries caused by lead exposure can include:
- Blood conditions (like anemia)
- Digestive disorders (such as nausea or gastric discomfort)
- Neurological effects (such as impaired concentration or cognition, seizures, and other conditions)
- Reproductive injuries or conditions
Serious injuries can long-term and can often be life-threatening. Sources of lead exposure can be very broad and widespread. Common sources of lead include items associated with work, hobby items (such as paint), building materials, and other sources. A child’s environment is full of lead. Children are exposed to lead from different sources, such as paint, gasoline, solder, and consumer products, and through different pathways like air, food, water, dust, and soil. Although there are several exposure sources, lead-based paint is the most widespread and dangerous high-dose source of lead exposure for young children.
Protect Your Family
1. Test Your Home For Lead
If you live in a home built before 1978, have your home inspected by a licensed lead inspector by contacting your local health department for more information. Sometimes lead comes from things other than paint in your home, such as candy, toys, glazed pottery, soil, and tap water.
2. Keep Children Away From Lead Paint And Dust
Use wet paper towels to clean up lead dust. Be sure to clean around windows, play areas, and floors. Wash hands and toys often, especially before eating and sleeping, and use soap and water.
3. Renovate Safely
Home repairs like sanding or scraping paint can make dangerous dust. It’s best to keep children and pregnant women away from the work area, and make sure you and any workers are trained in lead-safe work practices.