Even today, lead levels are a problem, especially for younger children.
Although there are regulations in place to prevent lead poisoning, it remains a chronic health issue for kids. It is so prevalent that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided the rough estimate that over 300,000 children suffer from elevated levels of lead in their systems. One in six children are reported to have a “high” level.
If you’re wondering why the rate of lead poisoning seems to be higher for children, it’s because their absorption rate is a great deal higher than that of an adult. For instance, the rate of absorption (gastrointestinal) in adults is 3% to 10%. In children it is 40% to 50%, which is alarming and explains why children have such difficulty with lead poisoning symptoms.
Lead poisoning creeps up on a person over a long period of time; meaning long exposures to minimal concentrations of lead (such as lead based paint) may result in a toxic level of lead in the body. This is often referred to as chronic lead poisoning, and seems to be the most common.
Even though lead paint was banned in 1978, older buildings that predate that ban still have lead paint on the premises. There may also be landlords or building owners who chose not to remove the hazard from their properties. Imagine the potential consequences for children living in such buildings.
The poisoning seems innocuous if you aren’t aware of what is going on, or don’t know that you live in a home or apartment with lead-based paint. Over time, the paint begins to disintegrate and winds up becoming lead dust.
This is particularly bad on doorframes and windowsills. If the dust stayed in one place and was easy to clean up, the problem might not be as bad. However, it tends to settle on everything in the home, including toys and other objects to which children are exposed. Of course when children play, they put things in their mouth. Lead paint chips are also quite attractive to children who often will experiment by eating them.
What are the consequences? Over time lead poisoning may result in anemia, hearing loss, mental retardation, kidney malfunction, headaches, learning disabilities and hyperactivity. If you happen to be pregnant, the baby may experience retarded growth, delayed sexual maturation (females), low birth weight and gestational age.
If you suspect lead poisoning, get a blood test to confirm your suspicions and then immediately speak with a competent attorney who will assess your case to file a lawsuit for damages.
Tim Anderson works with Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert or Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury attorney, visit Ozcomert.com.