Lead Poisoning

Lately, it seems like every week there is a new recall that cites unsafe levels of lead as the main reason for the recall. If it isn't toys being called by Mattel, it's diaper bags or any number of other toys that are all recalled due to having unsafe levels of lead in them.

Lead paint was banned in the United States in 1978. In addition, canners operating in the United States stopped using lead to solder cans in 1991. Lead was finally removed from gasoline after a 25-year phase out in 1995. All of these actions contributed to an 85% drop in the number of kids with potentially harmful blood lead levels over the past twenty years, according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Unfortunately, lead is still around in unsafe levels. It abounds in the paint found in older houses, the soil due to the past use of lead in gasoline, and sometimes even in the water. It is frequently in drinking water, ceramic wares, and a variety of other products.

Lead, when in the body, disrupts the functioning of almost every brain transmitter. As an example, lead fits into the binding sites where calcium should go. Calcium is an important messenger which is essential to nerve impulse transmission, heart activity, and blood clotting. These are all tied to other systems.

Children are particularly at risk when exposed to lead. While adults, when it is ingested, will only absorb around 11% of the lead, children will absorb between 30 and 75% of the lead when it is introduced to the body via the digestive tract. In addition, when it is inhaled, children will absorb roughly 50% of the lead particles in the air.

Relatively low levels of lead can lower the IQ (intelligence quotient) 1 to 3 points. High lead exposure in utero can cause low birth weight or premature birth. It can also cause a miscarriage or still birth.

Despite the number of toys that have been recalled, the leading source of lead poisoning is deteriorating lead paint in older housing. Improperly renovating a house increases exposure.

If you have been exposed to lead in unsafe quantities either in your house or at work, please contact the Kenosha personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-866-499-1700 to discuss your situation and to determine your legal options.