Lead Poisoning And The Law

Although lead-based paint was banned in Europe as early as the 1920's, the United States continued to allow lead-based paint in residential homes until the mid 1970's. Paint purchased and applied prior to that time can contain dangerously high levels of lead.

According to Federal Government studies, approximately three million preschool children in the United States have dangerously elevated lead levels. An increase in the level of lead in the blood can result in mild to severe neurologic damage.

Despite the fact that removal of lead paint has been required since the mid 1970's, lead paint continues to be a problem in homes where the lead has not been removed. Merely painting over a coat of lead-based paint does not cure the problem. Proper procedures and methods have been established for the removal of lead-based paint which should be strictly followed. Although the notion of eating lead paint chips is the kind of poisoning most people associate with lead-based paint, lead dust can circulate in the air at sufficiently high concentration so as to pose a danger to children.

If you are concerned about whether lead paint in your house poses a health risk, contact your local Department of Health who can assist you in determining whether or not there is any problem. They can also advise you how to remedy a problem.

Should you suspect that your child has been exposed to lead paint, discuss the matter with your family doctor. If your child has been the victim of high levels of lead as a result of lead-based paint, you should consider discussing the matter with an attorney who has expertise with lead related claims.

Despite the fact that millions of children have been exposed to dangerously high lead levels, relatively few claims have been filed as a result of the exposure of our young children to these lead toxins. It is often difficult for parents to make the connection between lead-based paint and poor performance in school, reading disabilities, and other mild neurological problems that result from exposure to lead paint. Careful discussion with your physician can help provide treatment for the lead-exposed child.

If your child has a learning disability and was also exposed to lead paint or has high levels of lead in his or her blood, you should consult with your attorney to discuss whether any legal remedy is available to your child. Your attorney can determine whether you have a claim. Lead paint lawsuits have been successfully brought against landlords, paint companies, or other responsible persons.

Because laws were passed in the 1970's requiring the removal of lead paint from homes, the failure of a landlord to abate the problem can result in a finding of negligence.

After a careful review of the facts, your attorney can advise you if any claims should be filed.

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