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Understanding the risks of lead poisoning

When a family moves into a new home or apartment it can be fun to decorate the new place, shop for furniture and learn about the neighborhood. They may not consider that their new living space could cause their loved ones to suffer from lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning and symptoms

Lead, even in small amounts, can cause a person to suffer serious health conditions. Lead poisoning happens when lead builds up in a person’s body over time. It can cause mental and physical development problems and sometimes can be fatal.

Lead poisoning often happens because of exposure to lead-based paint, lead-contaminated dust and lead pipes. The signs of lead poisoning may not appear immediately. They may not be apparent until a person has been exposed to a high level of lead. Although lead-based paint has been banned in the United States since 1978, many older homes and apartments still have lead paint on the walls. Lead pipes can also release particles into drinking water.

Some signs of lead poisoning in children include weight loss, seizures, irritability, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Adults may have different symptoms such as high blood pressure, mood disorders, memory or concentration problems, muscle pain and miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women. In some serious situations, it can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys and nervous system.


Homeowners and renters should feel empowered to ask whether their home has lead paint and there are certain disclosures the seller and landlord may be required to make to them. Families can also check for peeling paint on a regular basis.

If a family has been injured by lead exposure, an experienced attorney can provide advice about filing a claim for compensation.

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