TOXIC EXPOSURE & LEAD INJURIES
Houston Toxic Exposure and Lead Poisoning Lawyers
Lead is a naturally occurring metal that can be found in the earth’s crust. If left undisturbed, lead is harmless. However, human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, manufacturing, and mining, has resulted in its toxicity becoming heavily dispersed throughout the environment. It has been used for a wide variety of purposes since its discovery, from paint to pottery and much, much more.
Because it is such a widespread resource, toxic lead exposure can occur anywhere and to anyone. If you or a loved one have been exposed to the toxic compounds found in lead, you may have a lead poisoning lawsuit on your hands. At Houston-based law firm Reich & Binstock LLP, our toxic exposure and lead poisoning lawyers can help you achieve the settlement you deserve
Why is Lead Toxic?
While lead has proven to be beneficial in some products, it is certainly not compatible with the human body. Nearly every function within the body is negatively impacted by lead’s toxicity. However, of all the organs, perhaps what it affects the most is the nervous system.
Lead toxicity can also harm the production of blood cells and the absorption of calcium, directly impacting bones, teeth, and muscle movement. It can also affect the work of nerves and blood vessels.
When Was Lead Poisoning Discovered?
The human race has used lead for thousands of years, predating even the Bronze and Iron ages. The toxicity in lead was discovered as early as 2000 BC. It’s poisonous properties have since been observed in several societies throughout history.
Seeking medical treatment following an injury can make sure you are on the road to recovery and that the injury doesn’t worsen over time. While you recover physically from your injury, you’ll notice your medical bills and expenses will quickly add up. This is when the legal standpoint comes into play.
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What are the Symptoms of Lead Poisoning?
Because of its poisonous properties, there are a variety of symptoms that result from lead poisoning. Here are some signs that might indicate repeated lead exposure:
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Aggressive behavior
- Developmental problems
- High blood pressure
- Kidney dysfunction
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling sensation in extremities
- Stumbling when walking
How Do I Know If I’ve Been Exposed to Lead?
Lead can be found in numerous everyday items. As such, there are several ways for someone to develop lead poisoning. Here is a list of some common sources of lead exposure:
- Before 1978, lead was commonly found in many paints and art supplies. Since then, it has been banned in the United States, but can still be found on walls or woodwork in older buildings. Several accounts of lead poisoning in children have been linked to the consumption of chips of lead-based paint, even today. This is why the need for lead paint litigation still remains.
- China, porcelain, and ceramics are sometimes glazed with materials that contain lead. Thus, they can release lead particles into food served or stored in the pottery.
- Lead may be found as an impurity in ingredients used in cosmetic products. Lead is never intentionally placed into products, but since it is a naturally occurring element, it can be found in the water, air, and soil. Since makeup is often derived from these elements, it is unintentionally transferred into the product.
- Lead particles from a variety of sources, such as leaded gasoline or underground pipes, can settle on soil and remain there for years. The soil outside walls of older homes with lead-based paint is also often contaminated. This is why lead-contaminated soil poses such a problem around highways and urban environments.
- Household dust
- Small particles of lead from paint chips or tracked-in soil can develop into household dust, which can then be inhaled by anyone who enters the home.
- Lead can be found on pipes, as plumbing fixtures are sometimes soldered with lead. This can result in lead particles seeping into the tap water that runs through these pipes.
- Toys and many other products produced abroad may carry traces of lead.
- Lead bullets can lead to toxic exposure, especially at places like a firing range where the projection of bullets is almost constant.
- People who may be regularly exposed to lead (such as auto repair workers, miners, painters, construction workers, etc.) might bring it home on their clothes, which can then transfer onto other environments.
How Does Lead Poisoning Work?
Lead poisoning is the result of toxic lead building up within the body. It may take several years to accumulate or even as little as a few months. Small amounts of lead can be extremely harmful, and high levels can prove fatal. Young children are the most vulnerable because of the fact that their brain and nervous systems are still developing.
Lead poisoning often results from a person, usually a child, ingesting lead particles found on certain products. When children touch lead-contaminated items and put their hands or fingers into their mouths or otherwise put the contaminated items directly in their mouth, they are at a high risk for lead poisoning. It can also be caused by breathing in dust that contains lead. Air pollution and the consumption of contaminated food and water can also cause lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning rarely happens after a single instance of exposure or ingestion. Instead, it slowly builds up after repeated exposure.
The good news is that lead poisoning can be treated. The bad news, however, is that any damage that has already occurred as a result cannot be reversed.
Is Lead Poisoning Dangerous to Adults?
Children ages 6 months to 3 years as well as unborn fetuses are the most vulnerable when it comes to toxic lead exposure. This is because lead poisoning can negatively affect major internal systems while their bodies are still developing. Lead exposure in children and fetuses can result in:
- Brain damage
- Stunted growth
- Kidney problems
- Hearing impairment
- Behavioral problems
However, excess levels of lead can still be very dangerous to adults, as well. In adults, toxic exposure might cause:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reproductive issues
- High blood pressure
- Muscle and joint pain
- Nerve disorders
Houston Lead Poisoning Lawyers
Though many countries (including the United States) have discontinued the widespread use of lead, there are still many ways in which lead can become transmitted into the body and lead to poisoning. If you or a loved one have been exposed to the toxic element that is lead, you may be entitled to a lead poisoning settlement.
To see if you have a lead poisoning lawsuit, contact our Houston personal injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock today. You can give us a call at 713-623-8724 or 800-622-7271 toll free or fill out our online contact form below.