Lead was used up until the mid twentieth century in a large number of items, including paint that was commonly used to paint the interior of homes. Lead stopped being used in paint and other products when science exposed the health problems that exposure to lead and lead ingestion creates. If you or your child was exposed to lead in a rental unit and has suffered due to it, you can sue for damages, but first you must know what the symptoms of lead poisoning are, long term effects of lead exposure, as well liability issues when perusing a case.
What is Lead Poisoning?
Lead paint was banned and no longer allowed for use in homes in 1978. However, many homes, apartments and rental units that were built before 1978 might still have paint that contains lead. Lead poisoning occurs when lead is ingested or inhaled. Older homes might have lead paint that has started to deteriorate, causing lead-filled dust particles to permeate the air where it can be inhaled. Lead poisoning is more likely to happen to a child, rather than an adult, due to the fact that children are prone to putting objects in their mouth and their increased susceptibility to brain and bodily damage during their early years.
Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Lead poisoning has both short-term health effects, as well as health effects that may be long-term and could result in permanent disability. Early symptoms of lead poisoning include things that you might not readily notice. Some early symptoms include increased lethargy, headaches, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. These side effects will generally go away once you move from the house where you are being exposed to lead. However, if you remain in a location where you are constantly exposed to lead, lead poisoning will produce more nefarious side effects.
Long-term exposure to lead in adults has been linked to reproductive issues, nerve disorders, kidney problems and spiked blood pleasure. Long-term or high volume lead exposure in growing children can cause mental handicaps, behavioral issues, hearing loss and even coma and death.
Lead Poisoning and Liability
When you rent a unit from a landlord, they are legally obligated to disclose the presence of lead paint if they are aware of it. If they are aware of the presence of lead, they will produce a contract for you to sign stating that they informed you of any lead on the property. If you willingly sign such a contract and then suffer due to lead poisoning, your landlord is not liable. However, if you were never informed of the presence of lead and then become ill, you can file a personal injury suit against your landlord.
If your landlord also has the legal obligation to inform you if they will be renovating a unit that was built before 1978, due to the fact that there could be lead paint present that no one is aware of. During renovation, the pain will flake, chip and disperse into the air, which can cause harm. If your landlord does not disclose renovations and you suffer lead poisoning due to lead pain that was disturbed during the renovation process, you also have the opportunity to sue for damages.
Lead poisoning can not only be a mild medical nuisance, but can negatively impact you or your children's health for the rest of your lives. If you have suffered long-term damage due to lead poisoning, you can click here or file a personal injury suit to help collect damages, as well as prevent the landlord from engaging in practices that would further expose others to lead's danger.