Lead Paint Exposure and Risks

Lead Paint Exposure and Risks

In 1978, after nearly two decades of lead industry lobbying, propaganda, denial of danger, and blaming consumers for not taking precautions to protect themselves from health risks, health departments finally made themselves heard, and the federal government banned lead-based paint.

What makes Lead Paint Exposure so Dangerous?

When lead enters the bloodstream, it causes the blood to flow and abnormal speeds and infects the blood leading to impaired neural pathways, stunted brain growth, abnormal bone growth, digestive impairment, and toxic effects on the reproductive organs.

Lead Poisoning in Pregnant Women

Infertility problems are a side effect of lead poisoning.  Pregnant women with lead exposure are at risk of losing their unborn child or giving birth to a child with long-lasting impairments.

Babies exposed to lead before birth might:

  • Be born prematurely
  • Have lower birth weight
  • Have slowed growth

Lead Poisoning in Children

Children under six years old are vulnerable to lead poisoning, which severely affects mental and physical development. Exposure to lead can severely harm a child’s health, including damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems. 

Lead Poisoning in Adults

Adults exposed to high levels of lead or consistent levels over time

can lead to high blood pressure, impaired thinking and concentration, anemia, encephalopathy, stomach pain, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, vitamin deficiency, and acid reflux. 

Causes of Lead Poisoning

Mining, burning fossil fuels, and manufacturing caused lead to be used in paint, gasoline, auto parts, batteries, solder, pipes, plumbing fixtures, roofing materials, cans, pottery, toys, cosmetics, consumer products, and bullets.

People are exposed to lead in occupations such as auto repair, mining, pipe fitting, battery manufacturing, painting, construction, etc.

Older homes and buildings often contain remnants of lead-based paints, old lead pipes, etc. Folks can also be exposed to lead through drinking water or soil contaminated by lead leaching from lead pipes, solder, brass fixtures, or valves.

The Lead Laws

The federal government and the majority of states have enacted lead poisoning prevention laws that require a property owner and real estate agent to:

  1. Tell prospective tenants about all known lead-based paint in the property.
  2. Remove or cover all lead paint hazards in homes, residential rental property, and public or subsidized housing built before 1978.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or your landlord has mistreated you due to a lead paint exposure, you should consult GPW Law to discuss your rights and options for restitution. 

Sources 
“Despite bans, most countries still have lead paint” UN Environment Program (October 27, 2018). [link]
“10 Symptoms of Lead Poisoning” (April 15, 2019). [link]
“Prevent Children’s Exposure to Lead” CDC. (October 26, 2020). [link]
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