According to new figures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 38 kids in the ages 1 to 5 demographic are currently experiencing the effects of lead poisoning in this country. This means that about 535,000 young kids currently have harmful levels of lead in their bodies, which ups their risk of developing permanent cognitive problems and other health issues.
Last year, for the first time in 21 years, the CDC modified its recommended limit for lead exposure in young kids from 10 micrograms of lead/deciliter to 5 micrograms/deciliter. The agency’s National Center for Environmental Health director Christopher Portier reports in The New York Times that under the old standard, there were approximately 250,000 kids with levels of lead exceeding what was considered safe.
He said the new standard is a reflection of a change in policy that will take a more clinical than public health approach to this matter. He hopes that this will lead to more aggressive attempts to find (and then eradicate) the sources of lead in communities so that the levels in kids’ blood don’t rise. The CDC director, however, has been quick to note that there really is no lead level that is safe for young kids. Portier says that actual lead poisoning is defined as blood levels of over 45 micrograms/deciliter of blood. At that level, he notes, a young child should get clinical help right away because already his/her life is at risk.
While efforts have already been made to reduce lead in our environment and in our consumer products—lead is no longer allowed in paint or gasoline—old houses that have lead paint on their walls, tainted water or soil, and consumer products containing lead paint, including toys and jewelry made abroad, still exist and continue to pose a health hazard to kids.
Lead and the Body
When swallowed, inhaled, or taken in through the skin, lead can behave like a poison. Once in the body, lead may spread throughout, harming whatever it touches.
At The Gilbert Law Group, our products liability lawyers represent families whose children have developed serious health and neurological issues from lead poisoining, including attention problems, memory problems, concentration difficulties, decreased IQ, learning disabilities, stunted physical growth, behavioral problems, muscle coordination issues, nervous system damage, kidney damage, language problems, speech difficulties, developmental delays, seizures, hearing problems, coma, and death. Other issues that have been linked to lead poisoning include high blood pressure, juvenile delinquency, and academic failure.
Symptoms of possible lead poisoning:
• Lower appetite
• Sleeping problems
• Stomach pains
• Concentration difficulties
• Behavioral issues
• Weight loss
• Nausea Constipation
• Anemia-like symptoms
• Weakness/pain in the joints and muscles
• Metal-like taste in the mouth
Depending on how your child was exposed to lead, you may have grounds for a lead poisoning lawsuitagainst a manufacturer, distributor, seller, or the owner of the house/property where exposure to lead occurred.