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Is lead in your home poisoning you and your children?

Sadly, lead poisoning from contact with lead is one of the most common health problems affecting children today. Lead poisoning can occur at any age, but children are more likely to be affected by high levels of lead due to their still developing bodies. Lead poisoning can lead to problems in learning, intelligence and behavioral issues that can affect a person for the rest of their life. In this column, lawyer Eric Castelblanco explains how this hidden danger can drastically affect the lives of you and your loved ones.

Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning. It can also be a hazard when it is found on surfaces that children can chew or get lots of wear and tear such as windows, doors, door frames, stairs, railings and porches.

If the house or apartment you live in was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned the use of lead-containing paint for residences, but unfortunately lead paint is still present in millions of homes, sometimes under layers of newer paint. Deteriorating lead-based paint from cracking, or dampness is still a hazard in many homes and needs immediate attention. The risk is even higher in buildings built before 1950, when lead-based paint was more commonly used.

Common symptoms in children include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
  • constipation
  • anemia
  • irritability

Long term exposure in children can lead to lower intelligence levels and smaller body size. Behavioral problems, such as acting angry, moody, or being hyperactive, learning problems and a lack of energy. These are problems that will likely permanently affect the child.

Common Symptoms in adults include:

  • Changes in behavior
  • mood
  • personality, and sleep patterns
  • Memory loss and trouble thinking clearly
  • weakness
  • muscle problems and headaches
  • Severe cases can cause seizures, paralysis, and coma.

No parent wants to discover that their child’s learning disability or behavioral disorders are due to an entirely preventable, yet often unknown, cause: lead poisoning. If you think you or your loved ones have been exposed to the dangers of lead poisoning from your home you should seek immediate medical attention.

Since 1995, attorney Eric Castelblanco has been dedicated to helping tenants understand and assert their rights. For more information about your rights, call “213-388-6004 or visit their website at: