One of the pitfalls of owning a home is discovering the mistakes made by previous owners. Maybe the furnace isn’t up to code, or perhaps an addition to the main house wasn’t properly insulated—but whatever the case, the problem is now your responsibility to repair. But what if a previous owner used building materials that can seriously affect the health of your family members?
If your home or apartment building was built prior to 1978, you may wish to examine your walls for traces of lead paint. Although its use has since been banned, lead was commonly added to many domestic wall paints, and may still be present in older buildings in Texas.
Who Is Most at Risk of Injuries Caused by Lead Paint?
The most common symptoms lead poisoning from paint sources include stomach issues, headaches, lack of appetite, and problems sleeping. Although anyone may suffer from these effects, some people are at higher risk than others, including:
- Children. Children are the most likely family members to suffer lead poisoning, for many reasons. First, they are more likely to place foreign objects in their mouths, such as paint ships or objects that have fallen on the floor. They also absorb lead particles quicker than adults. Lastly, they are more likely to suffer developmental problems due to lead exposure, including brain damage, neurological problems, learning disabilities, physical ailments, and behavioral problems.
- Pregnant women. Both pregnant women and their unborn children can suffer health problems, most notably abnormal fetal development, stillbirth, and miscarriage.
- Workers. Lead paint may not cause any health problems unless it is ingested, or begins to flake into tiny particles that enter the bloodstream. In most cases, paint that is beginning to chip or is actively removed or cut into during remodeling is the cause of direct injury. Workers who are stripping paint or tearing through painted walls may suffer a range of health issues, including hypertension, headaches, irritability, muscle and joint pain, nerve damage, anemia, kidney dysfunction, seizures, and even death.
What Should I Do?
The first thing homeowners and renters should do is check their files to see if they were notified of lead-based paints in their residences. Under the need federal Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, nearly all property owners are required to disclose the use of lead paints in existing buildings, including providing the potential buyer or renter a pamphlet warning of the dangers of lead exposure.
If homeowners and renters suspect lead poisoning, they can also test the paints in their homes for the presence of lead with various do-it-yourself test kits. They can also hire an inspector to test the paint in their homes for a more accurate assessment of the danger. Finally, they should have their children’s blood levels tested for abnormal lead levels and seek treatment for any abnormalities immediately.
Who Should I Sue for Lead Poisoning?
If you or your child has suffered from lead poisoning, a number of people could be held liable. Building owners, former tenants, landlords, decorators, and even the manufacturers of the paint can be accountable for paying for permanent health problems caused by lead paint. Call Wayne Wright today at 800-237-3334 to discuss your case with an attorney. We can tell you if you could be owed compensation for your medical bills, rental and repair costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering.