In Flint, Michigan, the seepage of lead into drinking water has given rise to a public health catastrophe. President Obama declared a federal state of emergency due to the hazardous conditions in Flint.
The crisis began when the City of Flint switched its water supply in 2014. Although residents quickly began complaining about the taste, smell, and appearance of the water, government officials denied that there was a serious problem. As the months passed by, supply pipes corroded and lead leached into the water. By the time the City returned to its original water supply, it was too late to reverse the damage to the pipes.
A series of tests were performed on children under the age of five in Flint measured blood lead levels before and after the April of 2014 switch from Detroit water to Flint River water. Public health officials identified a spike in blood lead levels in the children of Flint after the water supply changes of 2014. This is deeply concerning, since no safe blood lead level in children has ever been identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The crisis in Flint has drawn attention to the dangers posed by lead exposure. Unfortunately, Flint is far from the only place where lead poses grave risks to children.
For centuries, lead was used in products found in and around homes because it is easy to extract and work with. Until 1978, lead paint was frequently used on the interior and exterior of homes, and lead paint in older housing remains the most common source of exposure for children in the United States. However, lead is a poison, which slows mental and physical growth (). Lead poisoning can harm nearly every system in the human body.
Children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure. According to the CDC, lead poisoning can seriously injure them, by increasing the risk of brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems (reduced IQ, ADHD, juvenile delinquency, and criminal behavior), and hearing and speech problems. Lead also can pass from a pregnant mother to her unborn baby, increasing the risk of miscarriage and preterm birth. Prenatal lead exposure may harm a developing child’s brain, kidneys, and nervous system, and cause learning and behavior problems.
Children in at least 4 million households are being exposed to high levels of lead. About 500,000 children under the age of 5 have blood lead levels of over 5 micrograms per deciliter, a level that requires medical intervention according to the CDC.
It has long been established that symptoms of lead poisoning can include headaches, muscle and joint weakness or pain, excessive tiredness, behavioral problems or irritability, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, a metallic taste in the mouth, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, and constipation. Unfortunately, lead poisoning often goes untreated, in part because it can occur without obvious symptoms at first.
Attorneys at Phillips & Paolicelli LLP have vast experience representing families harmed by lead exposure. For more information about this work and our lead poisoning practice area, you can click here, or click here to view some of the fantastic results our firm has achieved.
Contact Phillips & Paolicelli LLP to Learn More About Filing a Lawsuit based on Wrongful Lead Exposure
Phillips & Paolicelli LLP is a nationally recognized Plaintiffs’ law firm, whose attorneys have devoted decades to representing families in personal injury, birth defect, medical malpractice, environmental, and wrongful death cases. Attorneys at Phillips & Paolicelli LLP have extensive experience representing families injured by toxins including lead, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injured children in courts across the country.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been injured by exposure to lead and that you may have a legal claim, please call us at toll-free at 1-855-220-6770 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also send us a message online at by clicking here to inquire about a potential case, or to learn more about how we can assist you with a birth defect lawsuit or claim.
Lawsuits brought on behalf of children injured by lead exposure, like all lawsuits, have time limits that are short and strictly enforced. If you believe that you or a loved one has a claim, or are interested in speaking to a professional to explore a possible suit, you should seek legal advice immediately. Contact Phillips & Paolicelli LLP today.