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Pollutants > Lead

Lead is a highly toxic metal that has been commonly used for thousands of years because of its abundance, low cost, and physical properties. Lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products including paint, pipes, ceramics, solders, batteries, gasoline and cosmetics.

Total annual production of lead is about 8 million tones (worldwide) and about half is made from recycled scrap. The main countries that produce lead are Australia, China and the US, which account for more than half of primary production.

Health effects

Lead is a poisonous metal, which can damage nervous connections (especially in young children) and cause blood and brain disorders. Long term exposure to lead or its salts may cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains.

The greatest risk of harm from lead poisoning is to children aged under seven as their bodies and brains are sensitive to even small quantities of lead. The injury may not appear for many years after the initial exposure to lead. The main injuries that lead can cause in children are brain damage, learning disabilities, loss of intellect and IQ points, neuropsychological deficits, attention deficit disorder, hyperactive or antisocial behavior, and encephalopathy.

The injuries can sometimes become deadly or can prevent children from realizing their potential, or from becoming an independent adult. According to EPA, 9,150 children are expected to have an IQ score below 70 as a result of their exposure to lead.


Since 1980, federal and state regulatory standards have helped to minimize or eliminate the amount of lead in consumer products and occupational settings. Today, the most common sources of lead exposure in the United States are:

HOUSE PAINTS - Lead-based paint in older homes is the main source of lead exposure. Before 1950, lead-based paint was used on the inside and outside of most homes. It was also used to make several colors. However, federal regulations prohibited using lead in paint for general use. But, still there are many homes, which were built prior to 1977. Almost all of them are likely to contain lead-based paint.

DRINKING WATER - When materials used in plumbing materials, such as lead-based solders, pipes, brass and chrome plated faucets, begin to corrode and break down.

DIRT - Dirt near heavily-used roads generally contain lead because lead is commonly used in gasoline. Also, lead may be present in the soil near to homes that previously had been painted with lead-based paint.

In addition to the above mentioned sources, lead can also be found in plastic mini-blinds and vertical blinds which were manufactured in other countries. Lead can be in old toys, some imported toys, leaded crystal, lead-glazed or lead-painted pottery, certain inks, plasters and hobby and sports materials.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

Following are the main symptoms of lead poisoning:

  • muscle and joint weakness or pain
  • headaches
  • behavioral problems or irritability
  • excessive tiredness or lethargy
  • difficulty concentrating
  • metallic taste in the mouth
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite

Legal Rights

Though the hazards caused by lead poisoning are generally incurable, an economic recovery can assist the victim to have occupational therapy, medical care and special education. The cases have to be handled by attorneys specialized in lead poisoning lawsuits.

Free initial consultation - If you or your child or a loved one has elevated lead levels or lead poisoning, please fill out and submit the form at the right or contact us today at 1-800-780-2686

Breaking News

Barker & Little Settles Lead Poisoning Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit between landlord Barker & Little and a former tenant has been settled out of court, said 7th Circuit Court Judge A.P. Pete Fuller. The settlement amount has not been disclosed... Read More
Wisconsin to receive $6.7M for lead removal
MADISON – Wisconsin state will receive more than $6.7 million in stimulus funds for programs focused on removing lead out from homes... Read More
City granted $2 million in stimulus funds for lead abatement
UTICA, NY – The lad-based paint in homes have made sick hundreds of children in Utica city. Utica is the second city in frequency of lead poisoning per 100 kids tested. (1st one is New York)... Read More
Lead and Asbestos delay Dr Pepper construction
VICTORVILLE – According to a report from the city states, the construction work at the site of Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s bottling plant has been halted on account of a lawsuit over discovery of asbestos and lead... Read More
State mandates children to be screened for lead
Connecticut – A new state law, which took effect from January 1, will double the number of young children tested each year for lead poisoning... Read More
Attorney General announces compliance plan for lead paint
BURLINGTON, Vermont - Attorney General William Sorrell Friday announced the launching of a Burlington-based project, which will focus on enforcement of the state’s lead safety regulations... Read More
SNJPC to conduct lead seminar
WILLINGBORO – Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative (SNJPC), a nonprofit group dedicated to improving health outcomes for pregnant women, babies and children through education, health planning, clinical care coordination and responding to emerging regional needs, is offering free seminars regarding how to ensure if your home is free of lead-based paint... Read More
Landlords reach lead settlements
BELLOWS FALLS – Two village landlords, who failed to follow lead paint regulations of Vermont, have reached settlements with the attorney general’s office... Read More
Man sues landlord over lead
An Aurora man is suing his landlord after his three young children were sickened by eating lead-based paint chips in their apartment... Read More
Lead paint in older homes remains a problem in Wisconsin
The Pierce County Public Health Department in Ellsworth said that lead paint or varnish in older homes is the key source for lead poisoning in children... Read More
EPA Sets New Standard for Airborne Lead Particles
WASHINGTON – In order to slash the amount of the toxic metal in the nation’s air by 90 percent, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday set a new health standard for airborne lead particles... Read More
Family Sues House Owner over Lead Poisoning

A family whose two young children were diagnosed with lead poisoning is suing a local landlord alleging negligence...

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Lead Violations - EPA Fines Central Valley landlord
A Fresno-based property owner has been charged $16,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for violating federal lead-based paint disclosure requirements at eight rental properties in Fresno... Read More
Waterville residents in lead concern
Some Waterville residents are worried that their children may have been tainted with lead paint that was power-washed off a nearby water tower. The tower was power-washed on Tuesday without using a protective cover... Read More
Childhood lead exposure linked to criminal behavior in young adulthood
Children who have been exposed to lead at a young age are more likely to be under arrest later in their life... Read More
Syracuse city receives fund to prevent lead poisoning
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse city has received grant from the state to help prevent lead poisoning in children.... Read More
Reebok to pay record $1 million fine in lead poisoning case

WASHINGTON (AP) - Reebok International Ltd, an athletic shoe and apparel maker has agreed to pay a record $1 million civil penalty to settle a case that alleged a lead-laced trinket given away with sneakers led to the death of a Massachusetts boy in March 2006...

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Lead Poisoning - Woman Sues Maharishi Corporations

DES MOINES - A woman is suing Maharishi corporations in federal court after contracting lead poisoning from an herbal preparation marketed as a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi product....

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Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Introduced for Children With Special Needs

WASHINGTON – A new program has been introduced by Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Inc. (HSCSN) to test lead environment levels in District households. The program will benefit Children with special needs.

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