A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry determined an association between childhood lead poisoning and lifelong psychopathology with difficult personality traits. These traits manifested themselves during adult life negatively impacting the enjoyment of life of lead poisoned individuals.
Such findings further establish the global impact which lead intoxication has to victims.
This study represents just one in a litany of studies establishing both the permanent impact of lead poisoning as well as the imperative of lead poisoning prevention.
But in order to prevent lead poisoning, it is essential that parents are aware of the sources of lead poisoning.
The Sources of Lead Poisoning in Children
In most cases lead is ingested by children who live in old and dilapidated housing from paint on the walls of their apartments and hallways. Lead dust frays from old doors, windows, and door jams which have old leaded paint deep under layers of paint. The lead based paint and paint dust breaks free from these friction surfaces and become airborne. Any friction surface with leaded paint is a potential source for lead contamination. Lead paint on walls and other surfaces such as base boards are sources of lead contamination when they chip from the wall – a rather common and everyday occurrence.
The lead chips or dust are either eaten and absorbed through the digestive tract or breathed in and absorbed through the respiratory tract. The lead then circulates throughout the child’s body and is transferred to the brain, kidneys, heart, and other organs. The lead is then stored in the teeth and bones. It can be re-transferred to other organs and cause further damage during the lifetime of the child. In females, the lead may be transferred from the parent to the baby during pregnancy thereby poisoning yet another generation.
What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning most often acts silently within the body of children. Once within the blood stream lead is transported by the blood passing over the blood brain barrier to the brain. It is also transported to the heart, kidneys and other bodily organs.
It is stored by the child in the teeth and bones.
In many cases there are absolutely no immediate symptoms that lead poisoning has occurred. In such cases diagnosis is typically made during routine blood tests which are performed under current law from ages 6 months to 6 years on an annual basis.
Parents are often thunderstruck by the devastating news that their child has been the victim of this insidious neurotoxin.
Symptoms when they are manifested by the child appear rather benignly in the form of:
- Stomach pain;
- Loss of appetite;
- Behavioral changes; and
What are other long-term effects of lead poisoning on children?
The long-term effects of lead poisoning include:
- Brain damage;
- Learning delays;
- Attention deficit disorder;
- Decreased cognitive ability;
- Slowed and stunted growth;
- Hearing loss;
- Increased risk of developing certain cancers;
- Increased risk of reproductive damage;
- Increased risk of cardiac disease associated with decreased life expectancy;
- Increased risk of renal damage arising from chronic exposure to lead;
- Damage to reproductive system.
What are the legal rights of lead poisoned children?
It is important to retain a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to represent any child who has been lead poisoned. Attorneys at the Frankel Law Firm have an extensive and deep knowledge of both the science and the law related to lead poisoning.
New York City has a local law (Local Law #1 of 2004) and many regulations related to lead based paint within both private and public housing New York City. It is important to have a New York City lead poisoning lawyer who has extensive experience and a proven track record of success in the application of these laws. Call the Frankel Law Firm for a free consultation. There is no legal fee unless we are successful.
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