Lead is a known toxin that contains a heavy metal and was commonly used to speed up the drying process in paint. Lead paint was banned in the United States in 1978 due to the health dangers it poses. Exposure to lead poisoning is extremely dangerous, even in small amounts.
Who is at Risk?
Children are more susceptible to lead paint poisoning than adults. In fact, the same amount of exposure to lead dust or flakes will show itself in higher amounts in a child’s blood than in an adult’s blood. Lead poisoning can cause injuries such as severe headaches, neurological damage and even brain damage. Most lead paint found in the United States these days is in houses that were built and painted before 1978.
It is estimated that 24 million American homes still have significant lead-based paint issues. As paint ages, it can chip and crack and create paint dust deposits on many surfaces of the house. If the paint dust contains lead, it can lead to the occupants of the home contracting lead poisoning.
What is Being Done to Reduce Risk?
The Environmental Protective Agency has raised its standards on how to deal with lead paint, to prevent more cases of lead poisoning. As of April 22, 2010, the EPA finalized its requirements regarding lead paint so that anyone who will be handling or removing lead paint must be trained and certified to do so.
There have been recent efforts to make the public more aware of the problem posed by lead paint. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced $13 million in grants to 25 local projects that will concentrate on eliminating lead paint and educating the public about the dangers of lead poisoning. In just the past year alone, HUD awarded over $232 million in Lead and Healthy home grants. The public is encouraged to use the 800-424-LEAD (5323) hotline to report lead paint problems and non-compliance by contractors who are removing lead-based paint without following the new safety standards.
“Lead poisoning is a costly, tragic and irreversible environmental disease that robs children of their ability to reach their full potential – yet it is entirely preventable,” said Ruth Ann Norton, executive director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. “That is why we teamed with our partners at the EPA, HUD and the Ad Council to launch this national lead poisoning prevention and awareness campaign. Together, we can make lead history.”
The Public Service Advertising campaign is targeting parents of young children and pregnant women to educate them about the dangers of lead poisoning. The ad campaign includes television, radio, print, outdoor and Web advertising in both English and Spanish.
Speak to an Attorney
If you feel that you or a loved one may have contracted lead poisoning due to contact with lead paint, it is important to speak to an attorney in your area today. You may be entitled to compensation for from the responsible parties. A lawyer can answer any questions you may have about your situation and explain your legal rights and options.