According to the U.S. National Safety Council (NSC), children under the age of 6 are at the greatest risk of lead poisoning. Most significant, perhaps, is that it is difficult for parents to identify that their children are suffering from lead poisoning. The symptoms are often subtle, and differ according to age.
Though lead occurs naturally in the soil, it can be toxic to humans, particularly in high concentrations. Those higher concentrations are most typically associated with industrial products made with refined lead. For instance, prior to 1978, house paint commonly contained lead; until recently, so did gasoline. Lead poisonings are all too common, and frequently involve children, who ingest chips of lead paint commonly found in older homes, or who simply breathe the dust of deteriorating, lead-based paint.
According to the U.S. National Safety Council (NSC), children under the age of 6 are at the greatest risk of lead poisoning. Most significant, perhaps, is that it is difficult for parents to identify that their children are suffering from lead poisoning. The symptoms are often subtle, and differ according to age. Experts at the Mayo Clinic list these possible symptoms in children as being possible indicators of lead poisoning:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Unusual paleness (pallor) from anemia
- Learning difficulties”
Among adults, the following symptoms can indicate a problem:
- “Pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities
- Muscular weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Memory loss
- Mood disorders
- Reduced sperm count, abnormal sperm”
To protect your family from home-based lead hazards, the NSC offers the following safety tips:
- “Get your young children tested for lead, even if they seem healthy.
- Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers, and toys often.
- Make sure children eat healthy, low-fat foods.
- Get your home checked for lead hazards.
- Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces.
- Wipe soil off shoes before entering house.
- Talk to your landlord about fixing surfaces with peeling or chipping paint
- Take precautions to avoid exposure to lead dust when remodeling or renovating (call 1-800-424-LEAD for guidelines).
- Don’t use a belt-sander, propane torch, high temperature heat gun, scraper, or sandpaper on painted surfaces that may contain lead.
- Don’t try to remove lead-based paint yourself.”
Previously on the D.C. Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- A Fisher-Price / Mattel, Inc. recall of toys with lead paint
- An expanded Mattel, Inc. recall including more lead paint and dangerous magnets
- A recent recall of Thomas & Friends wooden train sets due to lead paint
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