Lead Poisoning Still a Threat
Over a period of time, lead may build up in the body and result in lead poisoning, a condition that can cause serious health complications. Even small amounts of lead can be dangerous, especially to children under the age of 6. Lead poisoning may be detrimental to physical and mental development even at very low levels.
Thanks to public health efforts, the percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels has decreased from more than 4% in the early 1990s to less than 2% among children ages 1 to 4 today. However, Baltimore, Maryland continues to suffer from frequent occurrences of lead poisoning. Roughly 70% of all elevated lead level tests for the entire state are found in Baltimore.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect. Most signs and symptoms don’t usually appear until later in a child’s intellectual development when they attend school. Some common symptoms of lead poisoning include:
In newborns – learning difficulties, slowed growth
In children – loss of appetite, sluggishness and fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, unusual paleness as result of anemia, weight loss, irritability
In adults – muscular weakness, memory loss, mood disorders, pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities, reduced sperm count or abnormal sperm, miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women
Sources of Lead Poisoning
The most common source of lead exposure is from lead based paint which is present in homes built before 1978. Children living in older homes or buildings are frequently exposed to toxic lead through lead dust or actual chipping paint. Some sources of lead poisoning include:
Lead-based paint – lead-based paints have been banned since the 1970s but older homes and buildings often retain some of these remnants
Contaminated air, water, soil
Some toys and cosmetics
Some imported canned food
Lead Poisoning in Baltimore
A Baltimore jury recently awarded Marie Carter nearly $ 21 million for lead exposure. Witnesses testified that Carter ingested lead-based paint chips in her Baltimore apartment as a child. This may have caused her to suffer a low I.Q. of 86. There is a significant amount of housing throughout Maryland and especially Baltimore City that was built before 1978. The present laws only require property owners to paint over the existing lead paint and not remove it. Once the last coat of paint begins to deteriorate, loose chipping and peeling paint causes a hazard to young children.
To learn more about lead poisoning cases in Baltimore, please visit the website of The Yost Legal Group in Baltimore, Maryland.