Lead Poisoning Poses Serious Threat to Children and Pregnant Women

Chicago lead exposure attorneys warn of the ever present threat of lead poisoning in America. Health researchers are now cautioning pregnant women against consuming Ayurvedic medication, since some pills have a major risk of causing lead poisoning.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified that the medicines were manufactured overseas, in India. Six cases of lead poisoning were reported in New York City. All consumed the Ayurvedic medication to aid in pregnancy, and five of them were Indian-born women. The medicines were found to contain lead amounting up to 2.4%. There were also arsenic and mercury levels, all of which are quite dangerous to consume.

A similar warning was issued by the FDA in 2008, particularly in the case of medicines sold over the Internet. Any issues for pregnant women could also affect the child. Exposure of the fetus to lead could result in delay in development, low birth weight, behavioral issues and lesser intelligence for the babies. For a pregnant woman, exposure to lead could bring about a greater risk of spontaneous abortion and gestational hypertension.

A 30-year-old woman consumed 12 capsules regularly in four months. The drug was called Pregnita and it was prescribed by an Indian practitioner for pregnancy-related issues such as vomiting and nausea. Another 24-year-old woman took two Garbhapal Ras tablets, a prenatal medication, daily for keeping the fetus healthy.

A 35-year-old woman took six medications for increasing the possibilities of having a male child. They were prescribed by a practitioner in India whom her mother-in-law visited. She took the medicines for up to three times a day before discontinuing.

The CDC states that these instances of lead poisoning highlight the importance of regular assessment of lead exposure risks for patients. Blood lead testing must be conducted for populations that are likely to be at risk of lead poisoning. It is important for healthcare providers to step up these measures since patients may not disclose the details about the health products, drugs and dietary supplements purchased off the counter. Some of these may have been used by patients without a doctor’s prescription.

Lead exposure for children is also a major issue in the United States. The recent news that the federal budget includes cuts that would affect local health assistance programs for lead-affected children has stirred up discussion and argument. The CDC budget was cut from $29 million in 2011 to $2 million for the 2012 fiscal year – a massive 94% cut.

This comes at a time when the CDC has reduced the level of lead considered dangerous in kids below 6 years of age that would require medical action. The scientific advisory board of the CDC said that even small amounts of exposure to lead can trigger decreased IQ levels, poor academic progress and attention and focus problems in children.

According to the new standard of dangerous lead levels set by the CDC, at 5 micrograms per deciliter in the child’s blood, the United States now has 450,000 children who are faced with a lead poisoning risk. This is a significant increase from 77,000 according to the earlier standard – 10 micrograms per deciliter.

The presence of dangerous lead levels in a child’s blood requires local city health departments to conduct home inspections to investigate and identify the probable sources from which the child could have acquired the lead content. This should be followed by constant monitoring and regular blood testing of the child to ensure that the lead level in the blood comes down. However, with the new budgetary cuts most local health departments claim they just cannot afford to cater to all the affected kids.

Illinois lead poisoning lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm urge those suffering from lead poisoning to contact us immediately in order to protect your legal rights.