Although safety regulations across the United States have cut down on the number of cases of lead poisoning that are reported each year, the potential for this deadly illness still exists. Unfortunately, many people still come into contact with lead on a regular basis, and some of these cases even involve children.
What is Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning describes what happens when someone is exposed to toxic levels of lead, which is a heavy metal. This exposure can be acute, in that the body is exposed to high levels of lead for short periods of time, or chronic, in that the body is exposed to lower levels for a longer period. Once a toxic level of exposure occurs, lead in the body can damage red blood cells, leading to oxygen deprivation in the bloodstream. Additionally, lead can also affect bone and surrounding tissues, leading to a calcium deficiency and other bone-related problems. In extreme cases, lead poisoning can result in neurological problems, nervous system damage and cognitive function breakdown.
How Do Children Come Into Contact with Lead?
As mentioned, lead use and exposure has gone down in the past few decades due to safety regulations, but in some communities, lead from industrial facilities makes its way into the ground. Once there, it can affect drinking water supplies, and this tainted water can then go on to affect hundreds of thousands of people, including children, for many miles around. In addition, while virtually all schools and industrial facilities have stopped using lead-based paint products, lead-based paint is still found in many places, including homes, schools and apartment buildings. If a child inhales lead particles or eats paint chips that contain lead, toxicity could occur.
What Treatments are Available?
If your child has suffered lead poisoning, he or she may need to undergo EDTA therapy, which uses chemical agents to remove lead particles from the body. This process can be lengthy and expensive, and it may need to be an ongoing treatment option. Both adults and children who have been exposed to toxic levels of lead may also need to undergo Chelation therapy, which once again uses chemical agents to bind to the lead particles and flush them from the body. In some cases, however, the damage done by lead poisoning may be irreversible, leading to a lifetime of medical complications.
If Your Child Has Been Affected
According to our NY personal injury attorney if your child has suffered due to lead poisoning, it’s important to note that you and your family may be due compensation. To seek this compensation, you may need to take legal action, such as filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you choose to take this route, it’s generally advisable to partner with a personal injury attorney for assistance in the case. A personal injury attorney will have the knowledge and experience needed to navigate the process, both inside of a courtroom and out.
Finally, you should always make sure that your home is lead-free by having it tested. A lead testing professional can examine your walls to make sure that lead-based paint is not in use, and if it is, that it is either safely removed or sealed so that it can’t be accessed. Additionally, you may also want to contact your local water provider if you’re concerned about lead in your drinking water.
Katie Hewatt is a legal researcher and contributing author for Perecman PLLC, a NY personal injury attorney firm founded by David Perecman in 1983. Attorney Perecman and his associates are experienced with lead poisoning cases and they emphasize the importance of seeing a doctor immediately if you suspect that you or your child have been exposed to lead paint or lead dust. Contact the Perecman law firm immediately for a free consultation about your lead poisoning case.