Lead Poisoning The Cause of Many Disorders

Published: 11th February 2008
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Lead paint and lead poisoning have long been known to cause a host of health problems, including hearing loss, stunted body growth and even reduced I.Q. But new research points to another danger of lead paint and lead poisoning - attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

Boys at Greater Risk

The study proved that boys are at a greater risk than girls, pointing to a specific variation in a genetic dopamine receptor (DRD4-7). The risk of developing ADHD can increase among children who are exposed to lead. The connection between lead poisoning and attention problems has long been known, and it was this connection that spurred doctors to research a potential link between ADHD and lead poisoning.

Doctors split the children studied into two groups - a high- and low-risk category of DRD4 variation. Children with the high-risk variety that were exposed t lead paint did not see an increase, however, the introduction of lead to the low-risk group caused a significant increase.

A Series of Disorders

ADHD children are not the only victims of lead poisoning - lead exposure can lead to disorders in almost every part of the body. The nervous system is a common casualty of lead exposure, with reduced strength and inability for different body parts to effectively communicate with one another. Lead exposure not only increases the risk of miscarriage among women, but the sperm production is also at risk. Though there is no conclusive proof that lead is carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that lead is a potential human carcinogen.

Protecting Children from Lead Poisoning

Children are by far the most vulnerable to lead poisoning. Children ingest lead in a number of ways - through chewing on paint chips in old houses, eating soil or dust that has been contaminated with lead, or biting ceramics or other objects that have been coated in lead-based paint. While children are quite often at risk for lead poisoning, it can even occur in babies as well as within a fetus of a pregnant woman: premature birth and even miscarriage are well-known side effects of lead exposure.

In order to reduce the risk of lead poisoning for children, parents should be vigilant about what goes in their children's mouth. They should keep close watch on children who chew or lick painted surfaces and keep cosmetics and other lead-based pigments away from children. Frequent hand and face washing can keep lead dust from getting in the mouths and mucus membranes of children. In addition, your child should be tested for lead at one or two years of age.

Legal Options for Lead Poisoning

If you or your child have been injured by lead poisoning, contact a medical professional immediately. Lead-based medical disorders may not be covered and an individual may be liable for damages due with these medical conditions. It is best to consult an experienced lead poisoning attorney who can provide you with legal consultation and support as you litigate your lead poisoning claim. You may be eligible for compensation or damages to help pay for medical bills and pain and suffering.


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