What You Should Know About Lead Poisoning Safety
Lead poisoning is something that many people assume is no longer a problem in today’s homes. Unfortunately, the potential for lead poisoning and health problems caused by exposure to lead continue to impact Americans today. Homes that predate 1978 and which had any surface painted could have problems with lead paint.
While California has enacted landmark legislation to prevent childhood lead poisoning, in many areas funding levels for lead poisoning awareness programs have been reduced in recent years. This can make finding out whether or not a home presents a danger from lead more difficult for a homeowner. It’s important that residents of older homes not rely on government or other outside sources to determine that a home may be a health hazard.
The Health Risks of Lead Exposure
Lead is a naturally occurring element in the environment and common daily activities expose all of us to moderate levels of lead. This generally only becomes a serious health issue with repeated exposure to higher than normal levels of contamination.
Some health issues that may result from over-exposure to lead include brain damage, anemia, and stunted growth in children. Repeated exposure to high levels of lead may cause coma or seizures or, in rare cases, even death. Lead is particularly toxic to pregnant women. Lead contamination can lead to problems with fetal development, premature birth, or miscarriage.
Lead negatively impacts the health of adults as well. The effects can include impaired kidney function and organ damage, high blood pressure, and the development of hypertension as well as compromise to the central nervous system. Continued lead exposure may also reduce prospects for fertility in both women and men.
Looking for Lead in the Home
All homeowners must recognize the potential danger areas within the home and test those surfaces for lead contamination. The following areas were often covered in lead-based paint prior to 1978:
- Doors (and their hinges)
- Stairs (and banisters)
- Window blinds
- Windows (and windowsills)
Consider Lead Contamination When Renovating
When renovating an older home, it’s important to inform yourself about safe methods to remove all traces of lead-based paint from the home wherever it’s found. Even if a surface has been painted over several times, it’s best to err on the side of safety and completely remove all potential for lead toxicity.
Steps to ensure lead removal during renovation should include an extensive inspection of all areas that offer the potential for lead exposure such as walls, windowsills, and baseboards. Contractors or handymen who are hired to perform renovations should also be aware of any lead problems and how to remove those dangers during the upgrade process.
If a home isn’t slated for a remodel, yet still contains lead paint, reducing potential exposure to lead paint flakes begins with consistent cleaning and proper maintenance of the space. Reducing the potential for the flaking of lead-based paint is paramount to mitigating the danger to your family and others. If lead poisoning occurs to anyone in the family, it may also be necessary to consider what legal avenues exist, such as personal injury lawsuits, for reducing the harm caused by lead exposure.
For Additional Information
- California Department of Public Health
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Centers for Disease Prevention and Control
Let Mara Burnett Help You Evaluate Your Case
If you or a loved one is dealing with an injury suffered through no fault your own, Mara Burnett can help. Experienced and reputable, Mara and the other attorneys at Mandell Law provide hands-on care and a sincere commitment to victims of personal injury and harms of all kinds, including auto accidents and negligence. The Mandell Law Firm, in Woodland Hills, California is an aggressive personal injury law firm serving clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, the Greater Los Angeles area and Southern California. Contact Mara Burnett for a free consultation at 818.886.6600.