Lead can be absorbed by a child under the age of seven by either ingestion or inhalation. The causal relationship between lead poisoning and decreased intelligence has been studied and the literature has reported that for every 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood lead there was a lowering of as many as seven IQ points. A child with a lead level of 25 can suffer a reduction of intelligence by almost 20 points. American Academy of Pediatrics, Lead Poisoning: From Screening to Primary Prevention, 92 Pediatrics 176 (1993).
The New York Department of Health (NY DOH) defines lead poisoning as a blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter or higher.
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) defines lead poisoning as a blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter or higher.
The Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines lead poisoning as a blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter or higher.
Children with lead poisoning are up to seven times more likely not to graduate from high school and have reading scores at least two grades below grade level. These children also have higher rates of absenteeism in the final year of school, lower class rank, poorer vocabulary, longer reaction times and poorer hand-eye coordination. Needleman, et al., Longterm Effects of Exposure to Low Doses of Lead in Childhood: An 11-year Follow-Up Report., 322 N. Eng. J. Med. 83-88 (1990).
The life-long lasting effects of this brain poison are devastating. A child with otherwise average ability who is lead poisoned may no longer have the cognitive ability to finish a 12th grade education, let alone go on to achieve college level degrees. The reduction in academic ability will also have an impact on the child’s future earnings ability. Fewer job opportunities are available to a person who has lower educational attainment, lower intelligence and suffers from cognitive deficits, learning disabilities and attentional disorders.
Lead paint is the major source of childhood lead poisoning. In the 1950s most white house paint was half lead and half linseed oil. In the mid 1950s paint manufacturers voluntarily agreed to reduce the amount of lead content in residential paint to one per cent, but that standard wasn’t written into law until 1971. In 1971 the permissible lead content in residential house paint was reduced further to a little more than one-half of one per cent (0.06%). Of the homes, rental buildings and apartment buildings built prior to 1960, up to 70% are estimated to contain dangerous lead based paint on interior surfaces. Since some of these homes have children under the age of seven and the painted surfaces are in a deteriorated condition, it is easy to see why lead based paint is the single major source of childhood lead poisoning. Davis, Report to US Congress on Effects of Low Level Lead Exposure, 50 Environ. Res. 11-36 (1989).
Lead paint is typically found on kitchen and bathroom walls and throughout pre-1960 homes on doors, windows, and wooden trim. The risk of lead poisoning increases when the painted surfaces are in a deteriorated condition or the surfaces upon which the paint is applied deteriorate. Additionally, lead based paint applied to friction surfaces such as windows and doors create lead based paint dust emitting bioavailable dust enabling ingestion by children occupying the home. CDC, Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children (1991).Request An Appointment
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