The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) began testing children for blood lead levels back in 1997. Since then, the percentage of children under 72 months of age (6 years old) has declined dramatically. However, there still has not been a blood lead level that has been determined safe. Even small amounts of lead exposure to young children can have damaging effects on IQ, their ability to pay attention, and their academic achievements. Furthermore, nothing can be done to fix early lead exposure in children. Its effects are life-long. If your child has suffered from early lead exposure, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced lead poisoning attorney today for a free consultation.
CDC Testing Protocol
In 1997, the CDC began testing for blood lead levels in children under 72 months. An elevated blood lead level is measured by the unit equal to or greater than five μg/dL. Children with blood lead levels in this range are in the 97.5th percentile, or the top 2.5% of children with the highest blood lead levels. In the state of New York, for example, (excluding New York City), the latest CDC data for 2014 shows that 6,977 children of the 315,767 that were tested had blood levels equal to or greater than five μg/dL. For New York City, 2,497 children of the 37,432 tested had elevated blood lead levels of equal to or greater than five μg/dL, which accounts for a total of 6.8% of children under the age of 6.
How Does Lead Poisoning Occur?
The most common ways that children and others are exposed to lead is from lead-based paint, which was banned from New York City in 1960, according to NYC Housing Preservation and Development. The city’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004 requires all landlords to remove and remedy lead-based paint in the housing of young children under the age of 6. Furthermore, any housing unit built before 1960 or housing units that house children under the age of 6 must be investigated by the owner for lead-based paint, then remediated with safe working practices by trained laborers specializing in the removal of lead-based paint. Others ways that lead exposure happens is from air, water, and groundsoil. For adults, lead poisoning can also occur from working with batteries, in home improvement, or in auto shops, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Damaging and Irreversible Health Consequences of Lead Exposure
Lead poisoning generally takes months or years to build up to high levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following signs and symptoms may show up from lead poisoning in young children, who are especially vulnerable to lead exposure:
- Development delays;
- Weight loss;
- Abdominal pain;
- Learning difficulties;
- Low IQ;
- Inability to pay attention;
- Hearing problems; and
If your child has suffered from early lead exposure, the responsible party may owe you considerable compensation. Contact an experienced lead poisoning attorney today to discuss your legal actions against the negligent party that caused your child’s sickness.
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