Many products sold in the United States contain dangerous – sometimes deadly — levels of lead. The list includes jewelry, furniture, toys, clothing and even food items. In addition, millions of older homes and buildings have lead-based paint on the walls and ceilings.
Exposure to lead can result in the following:
- Brain damage
- Learning disabilities
- Delayed physical development
- Nerve damage
- Decreased muscle and bone growth
- Hearing loss
- Antisocial behavior
- Kidney damage
- Poor muscle coordination
- Speech and language problems
Does your child suffer from any of these symptoms? Do you think exposure to lead might be the cause? If so, you are entitled to a free and confidential case review by a New York and New Jersey lead poisoning attorney. The Ginarte law firm has more than 150 years of combined legal experience fighting for injured children and their families. Call 1-888-GINARTE (1-888-446-2783) now or use our online contact form for a free consultation.
Why is Lead Dangerous?
No amount of lead is safe in the body. Even brief and minimal exposure can have disastrous results, especially for young children.
Approximately 500,000 children under 5 years old have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, which is the CDC warning level. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.
Prior to the late 1970s, lead was commonly used in paint, gasoline, pipes, plumbing, ceramic ware, cooking utensils, batteries, roofing materials and cosmetics. It is still used today in other countries and in the U.S. at “acceptable levels.”
Most children get lead poisoning from deteriorating lead-based paint found in buildings constructed before 1978. Lead can also be found in household dust, soil, toys, furniture and even clothing. Children can be poisoned if they put something that contains lead in their mouth. Even a small flake of wall paint might be sufficient to cause injury.
The risk is greatest in cities and urban areas such as New York City that have older houses and apartments, some of which might not have been upgraded or remodeled in decades. One warning sign: peeling paint on the walls, stairwells or ceilings of an older building.
Property owners and managers have a legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for the people who live in them. Landlords who neglect their duty — by ignoring a tenant’s request for repainting, for example, or by not doing anything about peeling, flaking or chipping paint — could be held accountable for any harm that results.
Other examples of negligent conduct might be refusing to obey federal, state or local housing and safety codes regarding lead-based paint or failing to test suspicious paint to make sure it is safe.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Young children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to the harmful health effects of lead because their brains and central nervous systems are still forming. For them, even very low levels of exposure to lead can result in severe and permanent injuries.
Symptoms of lead poisoning in a child can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Learning disorders
- Loss of weight
- Pain in the stomach or abdomen
- Delayed physical growth
- Mental impairment
- Coma (in severe cases)
- Pale skin tone.
Federal Recalls of Dangerous Products That Contain Lead
Every year the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls products that pose a risk of lead poisoning.
Following is a partial list of some of the items that have been pulled off store shelves since 2010 because of lead dangers:
- Toy Story 3 Bowling Game. Recalled May 5, 2011 (sold at Wal-Mart)
- American Girl Crafts Pearly Beads and Ribbon Bracelets Kit. Recalled June 7, 2011 (sold at Michaels and other retailers)
- Love, Hugs, Peace lapel pins. Recalled August 4, 2011 (sold at Build-A-Bear Workshops)
- Toy cars. Recalled September 28, 2011 (sold at Mega Wholesale Stores)
- Circo 17” children travel cases. Recalled December 22, 2011 (sold at Target stores)
- Ceramic piggy and lion banks. Recalled December 22, 2010 (sold at Oriental Trading Company and Fun Express)
- Love Tester mood rings and necklaces. Recalled September 21, 2010 (sold at small retail stores nationwide)
- Brine VIP Lacrosse gloves. Recalled July 26, 2010 (sold at sporting goods stores)
- Toy tiara. Recalled June 24, 2010 (sold at Party City and other stores)
- Boys and girls belts. Recalled June 27, 2010 (sold at Target stores)
- Moroccan tea glasses. Recalled May 27, 2010 (sold at Cost Plus/World Market Stores)
- Bicycle bells. Recalled March 18, 2010 (sold at Dollar Stores and Do It Best Stores)
- Children’s bangles. Recalled March 3, 2010 (sold at Chandigarh Fashion Stores and other outlets)
- Tiny Tink and Friends children’s toy jewelry sets. Recalled February 2, 2010 (sold at small retailers nationwide)
- Papyrus brand greeting cards. Recalled February 2, 2010 (sold at card stores and other retailers).
Manufacturers and sellers might be liable to injured consumers if they fail to take reasonable steps to make sure their products are safe or if they do not promptly repair or recall products found to be unsafe.
Talk to a New York / New Jersey Lawyer About Lead Poisoning Compensation
Ginarte Gonzalez Winograd L.L.P., has convenient offices to serve you in Newark, New York, Union City, Elizabeth, Perth Amboy, Clifton and Jackson Heights.