Lead poisoning is one of the most common (and preventable) dangers to the health and development of children in the US. Lead exposure, even in small amounts, is a very serious threat that can cause adverse long-term medical and developmental harm to unborn babies, infants, and children. High levels of toxic lead exposure can be fatal and pose the greatest risk to children 6 years or younger during early brain and nervous system development stages. If your child has been diagnosed with toxic lead poisoning, it is important to determine and remove the source of contamination, follow through with treatment and determine long-term care needs.
The lead poisoning advocates at Johnson Attorneys Group recognize the significant challenges that parents of lead-poisoned children face. Our experienced, caring legal team has the resources including knowledge of California health and safety codes to help you determine whether there are grounds for a negligence claim. We will also make sure you receive the settlement you deserve in order to provide your child with the best medical care available.
Johnson Attorneys Group will advocate for your child and prosecute the responsible individuals to the full extent of California law. We pledge to recover the maximum amount possible to care for your child's present medical expenses and take into account all potential indefinite disabilities that may require long-term physical and occupational therapy.
What Causes Lead Poisoning in Children?
Most often, childhood lead poisoning occurs when lead is ingested but exposure from lead-contaminated dust will also have an adverse effect on children and babies when breathed in. Dust from lead-based paint particles have no smell or taste and are generally not visible to the naked eye. While lead-based paint has been banned in the US since 1978, homes built before this time may still contain toxic lead-based paint and pose a serious risk to a child's health and development. Other common causes of lead poisoning in children include:
- Painted Toys or Household Items that are 40 years old or older may contain lead-based paint.
- Imported Toys from countries who do not adhere to safety regulations for lead-based paint.
- Water Pipes with Lead Solder can leach into your tap water, contaminating your culinary water source.
- Pottery Glaze containing lead can leach into stored or served food from contaminated ceramic, china and porcelain dishes.
- Artist Materials like paint that still contains toxic lead and airbrushed paints containing carcinogens and heavy metals in the form of dangerous airborne particles.
- Cosmetics can contain lead without listing it in the product ingredients. This is because lead is considered a contaminate from other ingredients like tint or from manufacturing. As a rule of thumb, the darker or deeper the color - the more likely the product contains lead contaminants.
- Contaminated Soil from mining, lead-based manufacturing, and leaded gasoline pose problems around abandoned or working mine sites, industrial areas and alongside roadways.
Lead Poisoning Symptoms in Children and Infants
Annually in the US, 310,000 kids between 1 - 5 years old are found to have unsafe blood lead levels (BLL). There is no safe level of BLL for children or infants with even minimal levels causing a wide range of symptoms affecting nearly every system in their developing bodies, including:
- Stomach Ache or Cramping
- Loss of Appetite
- Pica (eating inedible substances or items)
- Developmental Symptoms, which can include:
- Growth Delays
- Hearing and Speech Problems
- Learning difficulties
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Behavioral Problems like ADHD
- Adverse Symptoms in Babies and Newborns may include:
- Premature Birth
- Low Birth Weight
- Delayed Growth
- Developmental Delay
- Neurological Issues
Keep Your Children Safe from Lead Exposure
Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause serious damage over time, especially in children. The greatest risk is the irreversible damage that may occur during brain and nervous system development. High levels of toxic lead exposure may cause seizures, coma, and death. You can protect your family with simple measures to eliminate the risk of lead exposure in your home. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the following suggestions to prevent childhood lead poisoning:
- Properly dispose of old painted toys.
- Avoid imported products like painted toys and canned goods.
- Wash hands after playing outside and before meals and bedtime.
- Wash toys and bottles
- Keep your home dust-free.
- Use filtered or bottled water for food preparation and drinking.
- Ask your pediatrician about a simple blood test, if you suspect your children have been exposed to harmful lead.
- If your home was built before 1978, contact your local health department for information about testing your home for lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust.
- For a renovation project on a home built before 1978, be sure to use only EPA certified contractors to ensure the safety of you and your family.
- Make it a habit to stay up to date on product recalls by visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for important product recall information.
Testing Children for Lead Poisoning
If you think you or your child has been exposed to lead, see your pediatrician or contact your local public health department immediately. A simple blood draw can pinpoint your child's blood lead level or BLL and help determine the best treatment. The California Department of Public Health's childhood lead poisoning prevention branch has several resources available for families affected by harmful lead poisoning from a list of healthcare providers to information about how to remove lead contamination from your home.
You Need an Experienced Childhood Lead Poisoning Advocate on Your Side
Families that are faced with the uncertainty that comes with caring for an infant or child that has suffered lead poisoning can be frightening. It is vital that you seek medical attention and make your home lead free immediately. Next, contact an experienced, qualified childhood lead poisoning attorney to advocate for your legal rights, so you can focus on caring for you child. Johnson Attorneys Group has recovered more than $98 million for our clients over the past few years and will fight to get you the compensation you need, and your child deserves. Learn more about clients we've helped by viewing our case results.