Indianapolis Lead Paint Poisoning Lawyers
While much has been done in recent years to reduce the instances of lead paint poisoning in the United States, a shocking number of individuals still suffer from various degrees of lead paint poisoning every year. Sadly, the majority of affected individuals are young children.
Children are particularly vulnerable to the dangers posed by lead paint, and lead paint poisoning has the potential to cause very serious and long-term health damage to children.
If your child has been exposed to lead paint or has suffered from lead paint poisoning, contact the Indianapolis lead paint poisoning attorneys of the Hankey Law Office today at (317) 634-8565. Our experienced attorneys will bring to justice the individuals who put your child’s life at risk.
Understanding Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning is most commonly caused by exposure to lead-based paint which is, unfortunately, still used in a number of products and other materials. Lead is highly toxic and does not break down naturally, so once a person has been exposed to lead, there is little that can be done to erase the damage.
While the number of lead poisoning incidents has dropped dramatically over the last few years, there are still thousands of children under the age of five who are exposed to dangerous amounts of lead every year in the United States. In fact, studies show that nearly 4.4% of all children under the age of 5 have too much lead in their bodies.
To put children in harm’s way is completely unacceptable. The individuals and businesses who continue to use lead-based paint despite known health risks absolutely must be held accountable for their dangerous and careless actions.
Common Symptoms of Lead Paint Poisoning
Lead poisoning can result in a number of possible complications, and not all signs are immediately obvious. People should be concerned when children begin exhibiting such symptoms as:
- Learning disabilities
- Hearing loss
- Speech problems
- Brain damage
- Language, speech, and behavior problems
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased muscle/bone growth
- Sluggishness and fatigue
- Poor muscle coordination
- Weight loss
- Kidney damage
- Loss of appetite
- Nervous system damage
- Developmental delay
Adult symptoms of lead paint exposure could include:
- Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women
- High blood pressure
- Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
- Joint and muscle pain
- Mood disorders
- Difficulties with memory or concentration
- Abdominal pain
Babies exposed to lead paint before birth could also be born prematurely or have a lower birth weight. They may also have slowed growth.
Who is most at risk for lead poisoning?
Children under six years of age are the most at risk, as they often play close to the floor and put things in their mouths. Pregnant women who are exposed to lead should also ask their doctors about possible blood tests.
How do I reduce lead hazards on my property?
If you own a property built before 1978, you will likely have a lead-based paint underneath your surface layer. You can hire an inspector or risk assessor to evaluate the costs of a renovation project, and you will want to take certain steps to reduce your lead paint hazards if you plan on working on your property yourself. Be mindful of lead dust levels. You can also hire a contractor to perform work for you.
How do I know if a child’s toys contain a lead paint risk?
Children could be exposed to lead from toys made in other countries or antique toys made prior to the lead ban in 1978. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) usually issues recalls of toys that could potentially expose children to lead. Lead could still be used in plastic toys to stabilize molecules from heat and make plastic more flexible. Lead tests generally need to be performed by certified laboratories as do-it-yourself kits are not reliable indicators of whether toys are safe.
Lead Paint Poisoning Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that blood lead levels in the American population are measured by CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) Division of Laboratory Sciences as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a population-based program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children. NHANES is conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
According to the CDC, the overall trend in geometric mean blood lead levels in American children 1 year of age to 5 years of age declined from 15 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) in the late 1970s to less than 1 µg/dL for the period of 2011 through 2014. This was a 94 percent decrease.
Vox reported, however, in April 2017 that researchers at the Public Health Institute’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program reported in the journal Pediatrics that the overall number of children with elevated blood lead levels as of 1999-2010 in the United States was 1.2 million. This was double what the CDC reported.
According to Vox, Ohio was a state in which 40 percent or less of children were not tested, but Kentucky was a state in which more than 80 percent of children were not tested. Vox reported that 17 percent of American preschool children in 1984 had blood lead levels exceeding 15 μg/dL, but the ban of leaded paint in 1978 and the gradual phaseout of leaded gasoline led to only 0.53 percent of children tested in the country having elevated blood lead levels of 10 μg/dL or greater in 2014.
On June 9, 2016, Reuters reported that 41 percent of Medicaid-enrolled one- and two-year-olds had been tested as required, and over half the children were missing a test in states requiring tests. Reuters noted that blood lead tests are mandated for all children in 11 states and Washington, DC, but Medicaid also requires that one-third of all enrolled American children be tested at one year of age and two years of age.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimated that lead exposure accounted for 540 000 deaths and 13.9 million years of healthy life lost in 2016 worldwide. Lead exposure accounted for 63.8 percent of the global burden of idiopathic developmental intellectual disability, 3 percent of the global burden of ischaemic heart disease, and 3.1 percent of the global burden of stroke.
If you or someone you know has suffered from lead paint poisoning, you need to speak with a legal professional as quickly as possible to begin building a solid case. Contact the Indianapolis lead paint poisoning lawyers of the Hankey Law Office today at (317) 634-8565 to discuss your legal rights and options.