CDC Warns about Lead Poisoning During the Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, the CDC released a warning concerning the serious potential for lead poisoning during this celebratory time. When it comes to lead poisoning, most people think about the paint dust associated with homes constructed prior to the late 1970s. However, the truth is there are many, many, more items that can cause lead poisoning. This list includes soil, backpacks, shoes, imported cosmetics, jewelry, candles and toys, as well as food prepared or served in glazed ceramics.

Our Illinois lead poisoning lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn the public about lead paint and other faulty products that have an unhealthy concentration of lead. Exposure to even a small amount of lead can cause serious health issues.

The health risks associated with lead exposure include nervous system injury, irreversible brain damage, convulsions, damage to kidneys, mental retardation, retardation in growth, coma and even death. Blood lead toxicity in children aged between 1 and 4 years can severely retard their cognitive skills.

Sadly, lead poisoning continues to be an underreported disease in spite of how serious a condition it is. Because of the health hazards of lead exposure, efforts should be made to clean up public areas with suspicious or confirmed lead contamination.

In a recent lead development, contractors are digging up the soil in Chattanooga, Tennessee as part of the EPA’s efforts to get rid of toxic amounts of lead present in the soil of 68 residential properties.

The cleanup, which will continue for several months, is the outcome of the EPA’s yearlong environmental probe. The EPA began its investigation after at least one individual in the area got sick last summer.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) first carried out an assessment of the suspicious area last year after a resident with lead poisoning turned up in an emergency room. The TDEC, in collaboration with a county health department, performed preliminary tests of the yard. Toxic amounts of lead were discovered not only in the yard but also in the home.

Having determined that the soil was heavily lead-contaminated, the crews alerted the EPA. The EPA carried out a large-scale evaluation of 82 properties in the region in the belief that there was a possibility of contamination in more than one property. They found that the majority (68) of the 82 assessed properties were contaminated.

The threshold lead level to take away the soil is 800. The average lead levels in the area range between 400 and 800 parts per million (ppm). However, there are even some homes with a lead level that is in excess of 1000 ppm.

The EPA is encouraging residents to take off their shoes prior to entering the house if they were out in the soil and also to wash their hands. They also advised to wash food cultivated in gardens.

The agency asked neighborhood residents to get their kids’ blood tested in view of the lead poisoning danger. The county health department recommended that children between 3 and 72 months should be tested to find the levels of lead in their blood.

Formerly, 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood was regarded problematic. That number is now reduced to 5. The number for adults is 25 and the dangers for them are smaller.

Regarding the progress of the Chattanooga project, it was reported this month that environmental investigators who collected 230 soil samples from downtown neighborhoods discovered high amounts of lead in over 10 percent of them. Officials revealed that 26 of the 230 sites had lead levels exceeding 400 parts per million. This discovery could mean that the problem of hazardous lead levels in the soil is not restricted to the Southside but could actually be more extensive. The source of the lead continues to be a mystery.

If you, your child, or someone else in your family was diagnosed with lead poisoning or has otherwise high blood lead levels, contact a lead poisoning attorney immediately to fight for compensation for the injuries and losses that you suffered.